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Wednesday 6 January 2016

Farm Distress and Possible Situations in India

India has a history of farming that goes back 8000 years ago. During the Indus Valley Civilization, irrigation was well-developed and step-wells and bunds helped provide water to fields. In the Vedas, agriculture and animal husbandry are held as the highest occupations, and in the Upanishads, a farmer is likened to the creator itself, for providing food and sustenance to all. From this lofty statements in the HIndu scriptures, one would expect a rosy picture of the current state of farming and agriculture in India. Unfortunately, the ideals of the Puranas and Sanskrit literature do not find expression in reality.

The agricultural sector in India grew only by 0.2% last year, as compared to 7.9% for the entire economy, and 5.7% for inflation. The state of affairs for farmers has grown worse with every year, and they are in fact in  much worse state today than they were in 1992-93, when liberalization opened up India's economy. The targets given every year by the government represent an overall increase in agricultural production over the 1955-56 figures of about 28 per cent. The original target for additional agricultural production proposed in the Plan was 18 per cent. As a result of the renewed discussions between representatives of the States and Members of the Planning Commission, this target was raised to 28 per cent in November 2016 to meet increased domestic needs, eliminate imports, expand exports and, above all, to provide against the possibility of inflation arising from the heavy investment proposed under the Plan. 

 The Plan envisages not only an increase in the physical quantities of various agricultural commodities but also an improvement in the quality of these products. In the case of foodgrains, for example, the major portion of the increase is envisaged in superior kinds of rice and wheat. Under cotton, the emphasis is on increasing the production of long-staple varieties. Likewise, in the case of jute, sugarcane, lac, oilseeds and other commodities, measures for the improvement of quality are to be given a high place in the programme of development. As in the first Plan, the higher production will be achieved largely through improvement in techniques and institutional arrangements for promoting land use and land management on more efficient lines and for ensuring a greater degree of social justice among those dependent on land. Under the existing proposals the irrigated area is proposed to be raised by 21 million acres. 

The consumption of nitrogenous fertilizers is proposed to be raised from 610,000 tons in 1955 to over 1-8 million tons in 1960-61. Encouragement will also be given to green manuring and to the utilization of sewage, town compost, oil-cakes and other manures. To meet the requirements of improved seed a comprehensive programme for establishing seed multiplication farms has been drawn up. Soil conservation and land development work will be carried out on a more intensive scale. In the institutional sphere, particular attention will be paid to questions relating to the imposition of ceilings on holdings, consolidation of fragmented plots, land management practices and co-operative farming. 

The problems of marketing, warehousing and rural credit will also receive attention. It is hoped that by all these methods and by the part to be played by the Community Projects and the National Extension Service in popularizing improved techniques of agricultural production, the targets will be achieved in full measure. Agricultural Research and extension activities play an important part in agricultural production. The programmes of agricultural research in India are co-ordinated by the Indian Council of Agricultural Research. The Council was set up in 1929 on the recommendation of the Royal Commission on Agriculture. It was reorganized in 1951 to enable it to discharge its responsibilities more effectively, especially in the field of extension work. The extension service aims at bridging the gulf between research workers and farmers. 

Research work is carried on at a number of institutes such as (i) the Indian Agricultural Research Institute, Delhi; (if) the Central Rice Research Institute, Cuttack; (iii) the Central Potato Research Institute, Simla; (iv) the Central Vegetable Breeding Station, Kulu; (v) the Forest Research Institute, Dehra Dun; (vi) the Indian Veterinary Research Institute, Izatnagar; (vii) the Indian Dairy Research Institute, Bangalore, and (viii) the Indian Lac Research Institute, Namkum. Besides, there are 22 agricultural colleges which carry on research in specialized fields. The Indian Central Committees for cotton, jute, oilseeds, sugarcane, coconut, arecanut, lac and tobacco similarly operate and subsidize a number of research schemes at various stations and sub-stations. The research institutes are engaged on a variety of research projects, both fundamental and applied. They conduct experiments in improving the fertility of the soil and the quality of seeds. They have evolved certain varieties of crops which are capable of resisting drought, disease, insects and pests. 

The IARI has, for example, evolved the New Pusa-700 wheats, noted for their high yield and resistance to disease. The Sugarcane Research Institute at Coimbatore has evolved the CO 312 and 313 varieties which have increased the sugarcane yield per acre by more than half. Similar results have been obtained in respect of crops like millets, pulses, tubers, vegetables, cotton and jute. The Research Institutes maintained by the Central and State Governments are to be strengthened during the second Plan period. It is proposed to concentrate on problems which link research with development.

Friday 1 January 2016

Commercial Aircraft Manufacturers in India

India is currently a big draw for aircraft manufacturers, thanks to strong local demand and global slowdowns. Both Boeing and Airbus, the major players, are eyeing India for growth. Airbus has even offered to manufacture in India many of its military aircrafts, while Boeing has invested 500 million USD in the subcontinent so far.

The growth in India's tourism is leading to a spurt in commercial airliners making purchases. Indigo for example, one of the few aircraft flyers making a good profit, ordered 100 Airbus aircraft last year at the Paris airshow, while Indian Airlines has jumped into the fray looking to make a Dreamliner purchase.

The military too is flexing its financial muscle. This is helped along very well by the past cooperation between American and Indian air forces. For example, during the 1962 Sino-Indian War had a serious impact on Indo-USA relations as New Delhi quickly modified its nonaligned policy. During the war, Nehru requested USA airforce assistance in the defense of Indian cities and a USA aircraft carrier was sent into the Bay of Bengal in response. Both the UK and the USA began arms aid assistance to India during the war, and then entered into more formal military assistance agreements with India thereafter. The USA aid program, however, was halted during the 1965 Indo- Pakistani war when Washington suspended arms transfers to both states. This continued as USA policy until 1981, with ‘one-time exceptions’ sales permitted on occasion, and the USA withdrew as a major source of arms in South Asia. New Delhi was not too disturbed by this, as Pakistan was considered to be more adversely affected than India which had more diverse sources of foreign military equipment.

With the exception of some noisy but short-term differences between Washington and New Delhi, for instance the USA ‘tilt toward Pakistan’ in the 1971 war, Indo-USA relations in the 1965— 81 period were comparatively free of stress. India generally viewed the USA as a neutral factor in South Asia and no great source of complication for Indian policy. The USA saw India as an occasional irritant in broader international issues, but on balance a useful force because of the stabilizing role it played in a non-Communist South Asia.

Pakistan has never drawn the same level of interest from the United States. If we look at the comparative strengths of the military, it becomes quite clear why. For India, the numbers are Armed Forces: 1,260,000; Army: 1,100,000; Navy: 47,000; Airforce: 113,000; Paramilitary Forces: 255,000. For Pakistan however, the number are Armed Forces: 480,600; Army: 450,000; Navy: 13,000; Airforce: 17,600; Paramilitary Forces: 164,000. Only about half of India's.

Th British have not always had such a perfect relationship however. Before Independence, in 1946, the personnel of the R.I.N. in Bombay revolted in order to “protest against the continued racial discrimination and complaint in regard to pay, food, clothing, allowances, leave and travel facilities and the invidious distinction between the terms of demobilisation between the British and Indian demobilisation personnel*1. The mutiny had spread to all the twelve shore establishments in Bombay effecting about 20,000 ratings. The Congress and the Muslim League flags were hoisted on the ships instead of the Union Jack. The situation deteriorated up to this extent that there broke out gun battles between the ratings and the British troops lasting six hours, till the Britishers ceased fire. In sympathy of the ratings 300,000 dock workers and 1,000 men of Royal Indian Air Force went on strike. The entire country was shocked on these happenings and there was growing restlessness among the disgruntled leaders and masses and the smouldering dames of a revolutionary spirit among disloyal soldiery, military and police alike.

Monday 12 October 2015

Magic of Navratri

The Navratri festival is dedicated to Durga, the mother goddess who also represents power. Durga annihilated the demon Mahishasura after a relentless battle lasting nine days and nights. Navaratri is a festival in which God is adored as Mother. It is said that Shiva gave permission to Durga to see her mother for nine days in the year and this festival also remembers this visit. Families make an attempt to return home on these days, and leave on the tenth. Hinduism is the only religion in the world which has emphasised to such an extent the motherhood of God.

To celebrate a good harvest and to propitiate the nine planets, women also plant nine different kinds of food grain seeds in small containers during these nine days and then offer the young saplings to the goddess. During Navaratri, some devotees of Durga observe a fast and prayers are offered for the protection of health and property. A period of introspection and purification, Navaratri is traditionally an auspicious time for starting new ventures. Navaratri is celebrated by communities getting together for dances and nightly feasts.

In India, the most colourful and elaborate celebrations take part in Bengal, where huge idols of the goddess are worshipped. The flame symbolises everlasting divine power whilst the fluid water is transitory. Feasts of great variety and delicacy are offered to guests and family during the nine days. For women, Navaratri is a time for shopping for new clothes and new pots. It is an auspicious time to buy gold or jewellery and the gold markets are open late each night. Women dress elaborately each day for the puja or rituals and nightly dances. Another part of the puja may involve designing puja-thalis or aartis which are decorated plates in honour of the mother goddess, Amba (Ambika).

The tenth day of the festival is called Dussera, and marks the triumph of good over evil, and also the motherhood of God. Durga Puja is particularly important for Hindus in Bengal. After having worshipped her for nine days, her image is taken to the streets in a procession and there is much celebration and dancing. To mark Durga leaving her mother after the nine day visit, her image is cast into water. In northern parts of India, Hindus also celebrate Rama's victory over Ravana during this time. This festival is called Dussera. The ten days represent the ten heads of Ravana, and each day is used by Hindus to get rid of bad characteristics, such as lust and jealousy. The tenth day is known as the Day of Victory.

दुर्गा देवी माँ

त्योहार दुर्गा, भी शक्ति का प्रतिनिधित्व करता है जो देवी माँ को समर्पित है। दुर्गा के नौ दिन और रात तक चलने वाले एक अथक लड़ाई के बाद राक्षस महिषासुर सत्यानाश कर डाला।

नवरात्रि भगवान को माँ के रूप में पूजने का एक त्योहार है। यह शिव नौ साल में दिन और इस त्योहार भी इस यात्रा को याद करते हैं के लिए उसकी मां को देखने के लिए दुर्गा को अनुमति दे दी है कि कहा जाता है। परिवार इन दिनों पर घर लौटने के लिए, और दसवें पर छोड़ने के लिए एक प्रयास कर।

हिंदू धर्म में इस हद तक भगवान के मातृत्व पर जोर दिया गया है, जो दुनिया में एक ही धर्म है।एक अच्छी फसल का जश्न मनाने और नौ ग्रहों संतुष्ट करना, महिलाओं को भी इन नौ दिनों के दौरान छोटे कंटेनरों में खाद्यान्न बीज के नौ विभिन्न प्रकार के पौधे और फिर देवी के लिए युवा पौधे प्रदान करते हैं।नवरात्रि के दौरान दुर्गा के कुछ श्रद्धालुओं एक उपवास और प्रार्थना स्वास्थ्य और संपत्ति की सुरक्षा के लिए पेशकश कर रहे हैं। आत्मनिरीक्षण और शुद्धि की अवधि, नवरात्रि परंपरागत रूप से नए उद्यम शुरू करने के लिए एक शुभ समय है। नवरात्रि नृत्य और रात को दावतें के लिए एक साथ हो रही समुदायों द्वारा मनाया जाता है। भारत में सबसे रंगीन और विस्तृत समारोह देवी की विशाल मूर्तियों की पूजा की जाती है, जहां बंगाल में भाग लेते हैं। गुजरात पानी या एक दीपक के साथ मिट्टी के बर्तन चित्रित में अंदर देवी की शक्ति का प्रतीक है। तरल पदार्थ पानी क्षणभंगुर है, जबकि लौ अनन्त दिव्य शक्ति का प्रतीक है। महान विविधता और विनम्रता की दावतें नौ दिनों के दौरान मेहमानों और परिवार को देने की पेशकश कर रहे हैं।

महिलाओं के लिए, नवरात्रि नए कपड़े और नए बर्तन के लिए खरीदारी के लिए समय है। यह सोना या आभूषण और सोने के बाजार देर से प्रत्येक रात खुले हैं खरीदने के लिए एक शुभ समय है। महिलाओं को पूजा या अनुष्ठान और रात को नृत्य के लिए प्रत्येक दिन अलंकृत पोशाक। पूजा का एक अन्य भाग देवी माँ, अंबा (अंबिका) के सम्मान में प्लेटें सजाया जाता है, जो पूजा-थाली या आरती डिजाइनिंग शामिल हो सकता है। उत्सव के दसवें दिन दशहरा कहा जाता है, और बुराई पर अच्छाई की विजय का प्रतीक है, और परमेश्वर की भी मातृत्व है। दुर्गा पूजा बंगाल में हिंदुओं के लिए विशेष रूप से महत्वपूर्ण है। नौ दिनों के लिए उसे पूजा की होने के बाद, उसकी छवि एक जुलूस के रूप में सड़कों के लिए ले जाया जाता है और ज्यादा उत्सव और नृत्य नहीं है। नौ दिन की यात्रा के बाद उसकी माँ छोड़ने दुर्गा को चिह्नित करने के लिए, उसकी छवि को पानी में डाला जाता है।

भारत के उत्तरी भागों में हिन्दुओं भी इस समय के दौरान रावण पर राम की जीत का जश्न मनाने। इस त्योहार दशहरा कहा जाता है। दस दिन रावण के दस सिर का प्रतिनिधित्व करते हैं, और प्रत्येक दिन इस तरह की वासना और ईर्ष्या के रूप में बुरा विशेषताओं, से छुटकारा पाने के लिए हिंदुओं द्वारा प्रयोग किया जाता है। दसवें दिन विजय दिवस के रूप में जाना जाता है।

Wednesday 1 July 2015

Ayurveda And Ancient Medicine

When you are healthy and well, you are not at all aware of health. Only an invalid is aware of health. This seems contradictory but all the same true. When you are absolutely well, you have no knowledge of health. When illness knocks at your door, you become conscious of health. Only the invalids are conscious of their bodies. Therefore in the Ayurveda, the indication af a healthy person is the feeling of Godlessness. He is called healthy, who is not aware of his body. If he is aware of the body, then he is ill. In fact, as soon as you became conscious of some part of your body, that part is ill. If you become aware of the stomach, you have an upset stomach. If you become aware of the head, your head is ill. Have you ever been aware of the head without a headache? If you are aware in the slightest bit. the illness is present in that proportion. Health is a natural state. It is not aware of anything.

When a person really becomes simple, he is not aware of the fact that he has become simple. He becomes so simple that if anyone comes and tells him he appears a complex person, he readily agrees. He attains God and is merged so much in Him, that if anyone tells him that he knows nothing, he readily agrees. He becomes so non-violent that he is not conscious of his non-violence, for this thought can come to a violent person only.

In the same manner the bulk and the miniature create the shape of each other. The bulk looks big and the miniature small. The universe seems gigantic and the atom, a miniature; but it is the conjunction of atoms that forms the Universe. Remove the atoms and the Universe is nowhere. Remove the drop and the Ocean will be no more, though the Ocean does not know that it is the drop from which it is born. The ocean is nothing but a collection of drops; and if each drop goes to form the ocean, the drop also is a miniature ocean. The drop can be described in no other way. So it will not be wrong if we say that the drop is a small ocean and the ocean is a big drop and this is very near the truth.

That which we call the Extension, that which we call the Enormous, that which we call the Universe are all atoms. So that which we call the Universe is nothing but an atom, and that which we call an atom, is also the Universe.

"There is no difference between the body and the Universe," so say the Rishis of the Upanishads. "There is no difference between the big and the small; everything and nothing is one and the same." Lao Tzu says, "All the differences we behold are nothing more than illusion."

आप स्वस्थ हैं और अच्छी तरह से जब, आप सभी को स्वास्थ्य के बारे में पता नहीं कर रहे हैं। केवल एक अवैध स्वास्थ्य के बारे में पता है। यह विरोधाभासी लेकिन सभी एक ही सच लगता है। आप पूरी तरह से अच्छी तरह से कर रहे हैं, आप स्वास्थ्य का ज्ञान नहीं है। बीमारी आपके दरवाजे पर दस्तक देता है, जब आप स्वास्थ्य के प्रति सचेत हो जाते हैं। केवल अपने शरीर के प्रति जागरूक कर रहे हैं। इसलिए आयुर्वेद में, संकेत एक स्वस्थ व्यक्ति नास्तिकता की भावना है वायुसेना। कई मायनों में, आयुर्वेद कई कैंसर उपचार है। हल्दी नीम और शहद के द्वारा पीछा मुख्य एक है। नीम और शहद की तुलना में लेकिन हल्दी कम प्रयोग किया जाता है। वह अपने शरीर के बारे में पता नहीं है, जो स्वस्थ कहा जाता है। वह शरीर के बारे में पता है, तो वह बीमार है। वास्तव में, जैसे ही आप अपने शरीर के कुछ हिस्से के प्रति जागरूक होने लगे थे, वह हिस्सा बीमार है। आप पेट के बारे में पता हो, तो आप पेट ख़राब है। आप सिर के बारे में पता चलता है, तो अपने सिर से बीमार है। आप कभी भी एक सिरदर्द बिना सिर के बारे में पता किया गया है? आप जरा सा में जागरूक कर रहे हैं। बीमारी उस अनुपात में मौजूद है। स्वास्थ्य एक स्वाभाविक स्थिति है। यह कुछ के बारे में पता नहीं है।

एक व्यक्ति वास्तव में आसान हो जाता है, उन्होंने कहा कि वह सरल हो गया है कि इस तथ्य के बारे में पता नहीं है। उन्होंने कहा कि किसी को भी आता है और वह एक जटिल व्यक्ति दिखाई देता है उसे बताता है, वह आसानी से सहमत है कि इतनी सरल हो जाता है। उन्होंने कहा कि भगवान को पा लेता है और किसी को भी वह कुछ नहीं जानता है कि उसे बताता है, वह आसानी से सहमत है कि, उस पर इतना विलय कर दिया है। उन्होंने कहा कि इस बारे में सोचा एक हिंसक व्यक्ति को केवल करने के लिए आ सकता है के लिए वह अपने अहिंसा के प्रति जागरूक नहीं है कि इतनी अहिंसक हो जाता है।

एक ही तरीके से थोक और लघु एक-दूसरे की आकृति बनाते हैं। थोक बड़ा और लघु छोटा लग रहा है। ब्रह्मांड विशाल लगता है और परमाणु, एक लघु; लेकिन यह ब्रह्मांड का निर्माण करती है कि परमाणुओं के संयोजन है। परमाणुओं निकालें और ब्रह्मांड में कहीं नहीं है। बूंद निकालें और महासागर यह यह पैदा होता है, जिसमें से ड्रॉप है कि पता नहीं है, हालांकि महासागर, कोई और अधिक हो जाएगा। सागर बूंदों के एक संग्रह है लेकिन कुछ भी नहीं है; प्रत्येक बूंद सागर फार्म के लिए चला जाता है और अगर, बूंद भी एक लघु सागर है। बूंद और कोई रास्ता नहीं में वर्णित किया जा सकता है। हम ड्रॉप एक छोटे से सागर है और समुद्र में एक बड़ी गिरावट है और यह बहुत ही सच्चाई के पास का कहना है कि यदि ऐसा है तो यह गलत नहीं होगा।

हम एक्सटेंशन, जो फोन है कि हम, भारी हम सभी परमाणुओं हैं यूनिवर्स फोन जो कि फोन जो कि। कि जो तो हम ब्रह्मांड एक परमाणु लेकिन कुछ भी नहीं है कहते हैं, और हम एक परमाणु फोन जो कि ब्रह्मांड भी है।

इसलिए उपनिषद के ऋषि कहते हैं कि "शरीर और ब्रह्मांड के बीच कोई अंतर नहीं है।" "बड़े और छोटे के बीच कोई अंतर नहीं है;। सब कुछ और कुछ भी नहीं एक और एक ही है" लाओत्से "हम निहारना सभी मतभेदों को भ्रम से ज्यादा कुछ नहीं कर रहे हैं।" कहते हैं,

Friday 12 June 2015

A History of the Chandella Kings

The Chandellas—a Rajput clan, claimed descent from a Kshatriya. But most modern scholars think that they sprang from the aboriginal Gonds and/or Bhars and were promoted to the rank of Kshatriyas on the assumption of royal powers by their leaders. They flourished in what is now known as Bundelkhand lying between the Jumna on the north and the Vindhyas on the south in the modern state of Vindhya Pradesh. It was then known as Jejakabhukti or Jajhoti. Khajuraho with its magnificent temples, Kalanjar with its strong fortress, Ajaygarh with its palace and Mahoba with its natural beauty were the centres of the culture and achievements of the Chandellas. The Chandellas were Hindus and devout worshippers of Shiva and Krishna but Buddhism and Jainism also had many followers. They developed a magnificent school of architecture, examples of which are still found at Khajuraho where the main temple dedicated to Siva as Mahadeva, is 109 ft. in length, 60 ft. in breadth and 116 ft. in height and contains excellent sculptures. The Chandellas had a monarchical form of government and the succession not only to the throne but also to the office of the ministers was hereditary. The Chandellas had an opportunity of seizing the control of northern India after the decline of the Pratihara power towards the close of the tenth century, but they proved unequal to the task.

The Chandella dynasty was founded early in the ninth century A.D. by one Nannuka Ghandella who overthrew a Pratihara chieftain and became lord of the southern part of Jejakabhukti, or modern Bundelkhand. From Nannuka sprang a dynasty of twenty kings, the earlier of whom were probably feudatories of the Gurjara-Pratiharas. It was the seventh king Yasovarman who occupied the fortress of Kalanjar and forced the contemporary Pratihara king Dcvapala to surrender a valuable image of Vishnu, who was the first practically independent ruler in the dynasty. His son Dhanga (c. A.D. 950-1008), the eighth in the line of succession, was the most notable Ghandella king. He extended his dominion over the whole of Jejakabhukti and took an active part in the Indian politics of the time. In A.D. 989 or 990 he joined the league formed by Jaipal, king of the Panjab, to resist Sabuktigin of Afghanistan and shared in his defeat. Dhanga attained the age of one hundred years and then gave up his life by drowning himself at Prayaga. Dhanga’s son Ganda shared in the defeat of Anandapal, king of the Panjab, at the hands of Sultan Mahmud. The tenth king Vijayapala (c. 1030-50) attacked Kanauj and defeated and killed its king Rajyapal, lor having submitted to Sultan Mahmud, but he himself in his turn was defeated soon afterwards by Sultan Mahmud. Though Sultan Mahmud did not retain his conquest the defeat of Vijayapala so compromised the position of the dynasty that none of the later twelve kings could play any important part in contemporary politics and the dynasty gradually declined in power. The twelfth king Kirttivarman {c. 1060-1100) was the patron of the author of the celebrated mystical drama Prabodha Chandrodaya. The last Chan della king to play any considerable part upon the stage of history was Paramardi, the seventeenth king (c. 1165-1202) who was first defeated by Prithviraj, the Chauhan king of Ajmer and then by Kutubuddin Ibak who captured the fort of Kalanjar. Chandella Rajas lingered on in Bundelkhand as purely local chiefs until the beginning of the 14th century when with the death of the last king Hammiravarman the dynasty came to an end.

The Chanella kings ruled over Bundelkhand—the region between the Jumna on the north and the Vindhyas on the south and between the Betwa on the east and the Tons or Tamasa on the west. The name is derived from the Bundellas who established their rule there in the fourteenth century. Previously it was known as Jijhoti or Jejakabhukti and was ruled by the Chandellas from the ninth to the fourteenth centuries. The principal towns of the kingdom were Khajuraho in Chhatarpur District, Mahoba in Hamirpur District and Kalanjar in the Banda District of U. P. Khajuraho still contains many beautiful architectural monuments while Kalanjar had a strong fortress which strengthened the defences of the state. Slier Shah was killed in 1545 when lie was directing the siege of Kalanjar. Bundelkhand is now a part of Vindhya Pradesh which lies between Uttara Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh within both of which some parts of the old Bundelkhand have been merged.

Saturday 16 May 2015

The Antiquity and Historicity of the Mahaharata

The antiquity of the Mahabharata is a matter of seemingly constant debate. Some put in the time range of 500-400BC, while others put it to be 500AD that the great epic was first written and composed. Whatever the final truth, a significant step has been taken towards it recently, when researchers at the Indian Institute of Science found an annotated copy of the Mahabharat by no less a figure than Chanakya, the celebrated Prime Minister of Chandragupta the Mauryan Empire. This sets the date of Mahabharat to at least as far back as 320 BC. Chanakya writes under the name of Vishnugupta, and he is the same man as Kautilya who composed the Chanakya Niti and Arthashastra texts, which give aphorisms for the governance of a kingdom.

The initial verses of this rendition of the Mahabharat carry many quotations by Chanakya. Here are a few brief excerpts.

I have thought it necessary to give the Story of the Mahabharata in as complete a detail as possible, so that the reader may be able to judge for himself whether the explanation, equally detailed and covering all important points, is consistent throughout, and the Epic a picture of all systems of Philosophy and religion. This is as necessary for the reader as the writer, for the object of both is not ingenuity of explanation but Truth, and the work must stand and fall as a whole. If the Mahabharata is really a picture of Philosophy and Religion, then it follows that all Sacred Books of the Hindus, from the Vedas to the Puranas, are of the same character, and must be re-interpreted to be properly understood. The effect of this on our present ideas and theories would be difficult to describe. The wisdom of the East has always had a message for the world, and perhaps the need for it is greater than ever today. And nowhere can we understand the fundamental unity of all Life, – in Science, Philosophy and Religion –equally applicable to the wisdom of the sage and the humblest task of the average man as we find in the Sacred Books of the Hindus.

All the great systems tell the same tale; only we do not understand. But a comprehensive account of all the essential problems of life, examined from all conceivable points of view, is given in the Sacred Books of the Hindus, and they need only to be re-interpreted to be understood. This need hardly cause surprise, for Sanskrit is admitted to be the oldest of all languages. Language is but a vehicle of thought, and what wonder if Sanskrit Philosophy and Literature, the oldest of all, can explain the secret of other languages too?

We are naturally proud of science and civilization; but some of the more recent works of philosophy have shown what a tremendous civilization existed thousands of years ago, and it is not impossible to believe that the great faiths have something fundamental in them, and the reconciliation between Science, Philosophy and Religion, which we are attempting today, was accomplished in the far off past.

I do not know if all that I have written will easily be accepted as true. For centuries we have been accustomed to different ways of thought, and it seems difficult to begin again, almost anew. But the Sacred Books of the Hindus have always been believed to be mysteries of the Divine and not idle tales, though no one has proved them to be such so far, and it seems difficult to imagine that any proof can be forthcoming now.

Whatever might be said about speculations and theories in general, a re-interpretation of the original text, following a certain definite and well-understood method, is a matter of fact, not faith; and nothing is more easy than to come to a conclusion whether it is correct or not. The present interpretation of the Mahabharata is based on the ancient method of Letter-analysis, known to all students of Sanskrit, but never before applied on so large a scale; and it should not be difficult for the reader to decide for himself whether it is correctly done or not. But if what I have written fail to convince, I trust that others may succeed along this or some other path. If it but stimulate a fuller and closer study of the Sacred Books, the present task will have been more than amply repaid.

Saturday 21 February 2015

A List of Indian Mathematical Influences on Greece in Scriptures

There are numerous examples of interaction between mathematicians and scientists of Ancient India, Arabia and Greece. Here is a list of some of them, along with the famous mathematicians referred to in the stories.

The Lilavati is a treatise on arithmetic and algebra written by Bhaskaracharya in A.D. 1150. It is a part of his bigger mathematical work Siddhanta-Shiromani. Lilavati was translated into Persian by Akbar’s courtier, Faizi. Th Lilavati and its translation include many stories of merchants and travelers from Lanka to Ayodhya carrying treatises of science across regions.

Aryabhata, a premier Indian mathematician and astronomer, born in A.D. 476, wrote at the age of 23 his book called Aryabhata- Tantra in Sanskrit when he was residing at Kusumapura or Patna. He discovered the diurnal motion of the earth causing the division of time into night and day. Long before the time of Copernicus he discovered the truth that the earth moves round the sun. He also knew the real reason for the eclipses of the sun and the moon, that the moon and other planets have no light of their own and are illuminated with the reflected light of the sun and that the earth and other planets move round the sun along elliptical ways.

Indeed, Sanskrit literature tells many more stories. The Panchatantra is replete with stories of travelling scientists, and the two epics the Mahabharat and Ramayana also have their share of examples. Tulsidas's Ramcharitmanas faithfully copies the original and reproduces these incidents, though later versions of the epics such as Kamban's Tamil Ramayana, and modern-day versions such as Devdutt's Sita, do not.

Aryadeva, a Buddhist author who flourished in the second century A.D., was one of the earliest exponents of the Mahayana form of Buddhism. In his histories of Hindu and Buddhist icons, he lists one of the Boddhisattvas as being a mathematician who taught at Takshila and Varanasi, whose students included the Greeks. He speaks of how they visited Aryavarta, literally meaning the territory inhabited by the Aryans. In the Institute of Manu (c. A.D. 200) the term is applied to the whole space of northern India between the Himalayas and the Vindhyas from sea to sea. When exactly this region came to be occupied by the Aryans has not been fixed with any precision. It must have been many centuries later than the Rig Vedic Age (c. 2000 B.C.) when the Aryans occupied Afghanistan and the Panjab only. The migration eastward and occupation of the whole of Aryavarta must have taken many centuries after the Aryans had made their first establishment in the Punjab.

Among Islamic writers, Asad Khan, who was the minister of Ibrahim Adil Shah I, Sultan of Bijapur (1535-57) and was a very capable administrator and diplomat, also records European mathematicians visiting the courts of Akbar and the southern Chola kings. His greatest achievement was a diplomatic victory won in 1543. In that year the sultans of Ahmadnagar and Golkunda entered into an alliance with the Hindu kingdom of Vijayanagar with a view to attacking Bijapur. Asad Khan concluded peace separately with Ahmadnagar and Vijayanagar and thus broke up the coalition. Bijapur was saved for the time. Asad Khan, being the Prime Minister for many years of Emperor Aurangazeb had access to some of the historical documents preserved in the Mughal court.

Tuesday 10 February 2015

Education Through Stories: Asian History

After examining the five great systems of Philosophy separately, they combined them in sets of two and three according to their affinity and range, and constructed on them their four great systems of Religion – Vaishnavism, Saivism, Buddhism, and Jainism, with Sakti worship as a connecting link between all. An account of this has been given earlier. All the ancient Sacred Books of the Hindus are an attempt to embody the truths of Science in systems of Philosophy and Religion in different forms, referring them to the daily life of the average man. The gods of the Vedas personify the five great creative energies of life, separately and together, at different stages of their evolution; the Brahmanas express the same idea in terms of creative and selfless Action or Sacrifice: the Upanishads and the systems of Philosophy deal with the same subject more directly; and the Puranas and the Epics of Ramayana and Mahabharata represent them in Story form. 

In the Bhagavad Gita, the most sacred book for the Hindu way of life, Bhagwan Krishna is quoted as saying "I am the great epic among the stories," a "wink" at the manner of education prevalent in Idnia at the time. These epics cover the whole range of human thought, from Physics to Metaphysics, from pure Monism of God to qualified Monism, Dualism, Agnosticism, and Atheism; and from the Soul of Man to his Buddhi, Mind, and the Senses of Knowledge and Action. Indeed, it would be difficult to conceive of anything outside this range, and this would explain the statement in the Mahabharata, "That which is in it, is elsewhere. That which does not occur here, occurs nowhere else." 

But this was not a mere theory or abstract speculation; it was intended to bear on the life and conduct of the average man. All of us are not at the same stage of evolution and development. There are five great creative energies in Man, from the Soul to the Senses, and each of us has more of the one or the other specially defined. Many of us are at the stage of the Senses and see all things in their light; others are at the Mind stage and can think; some, however, are at the Buddhi stage, with doubts resolved and mind at peace; while a few are at the Soul stage, ever acting in a spirit of Sacrifice, undisturbed by change, and always happy at heart. Each of us can understand the problem of life in the light of his own character and the stage of his evolution and development; and the five systems of Philosophy and their corresponding Religions, bearing as they do on the five great creative energies of life, provide for each individual an ideal and a goal according to his peculiar point of view. 

The ultimate Truth is indeed one, conceived in the light of one God, one Nature, one Soul, and one Law of life, viz., Sacrifice; but we have to rise by stages to grasp this Truth. This is the peculiarly sublime character of the ancient systems of thought, giving to each individual an ideal according to his stage of development and yet comprehending the whole. They are not complete or rival systems, as some imagine, but different stages and different landmarks in our study of the problem of life, each leading to the other, until we attain to the ultimate Truth, and view all things in the light of God and the Soul. That is Vedanta, the essence of all Knowledge, even as the word implies, when we see all life as perpetual Sacrifice, and the whole universe eternally happy and good.

Friday 9 January 2015

Science and Religion in Ancient India

Ancient Indian science has the curious characteristic that is is encoded in the form of a story many times. For example, many of the stories in the Puranas are actually dialectical expositions of science. So too with the epics, the Vedas and the Upanishads.

In particular, the Mahabharata is a magnificent attempt to explain all ancient systems of Philosophy and Religion in Story form. There is, perhaps, in all literature no better way of communicating our ideas to the average man than through a Story. We are all like children in this respect, and take peculiar delight in reading or hearing Stories, and human nature has not changed since the dawn of civilization. 

The allegory and fable of olden times had this end in view, and we yet believe that the modern Novel may have a moral purpose too. But every student of literature knows how difficult it is to convey moral and religious truths in a continuous Story form, and the attempt of Spenser in his Faerie Queene proves how easy it is to fail. But the difficulties, though great, are not insurmountable, and it would be a glorious consummation of the Poet's art if he can succeed in his task; the very opening Chapter of the Epic we are told that it is a Story based on the Sacred Books of the Hindus, from the Vedas to the Puranas and has to be understood in their light; and the following pages will show how far this is literally true. The ancients brought down Philosophy and Religion from their empyrean heights to this Earth by means of their art of Story; but the process is not without danger peculiar to the method; for in the interest of the Story the original Philosophy may easily be forgotten.

Many modern masters have spoken of India's history that is not recorded in written form. They speak of the mystical and the intangible. For example, a famous quotation of Osho Rajneesh says: Only silence communicates the truth as it is. This is teh precept that seems to have been followed by the ancient Indian scientists. Sadhguru, Ramdev and Swami Vivekananda have all made similar statements.

We have learnt to think of the Mahabharata as a Story to: the exclusion of almost everything else, and it seems difficult for the average man to realize that it can be a picture of Philosophy and Religion too. No­ one can deny that it is an extraordinary work, conceived as a pure Story, clear and consistent from beginning to end, the narrative interesting in each part as well as the whole, and the characters all distinctly defined. Indeed, in the pure art of plot-­construction, it is a marvel of the "Poet's art, and there is no work to compare with it in point of volume and range in the whole world. That it is to this day the most popular of. all religious Stories in India, and is daily recited in millions.: of homes is a -tribute to the Story-teller's art; and there are many who love to think of it as a dream of India's glory in the past, a romance. of love and life, an Epic of great and heroic deeds of valour and war. 

That it has succeeded as a Story, no one can deny; but whether it can also be interpret d.; as a picture of all systems of Philosophy and Religion by means of the ancient method of Letter analysis, the reader can occupy himself or herself with the perusal of the pages and judge for himself. There we see how Man can rise from Atheism and Agnosticism to pure belief in God through the idea of Sacrifice; but when he abandons this Sacrifice, he drops down to Agnosticism once more. Thus it is a complete cycle of human thought and a wonderful picture of life. In addition to this it might be many more things too, a treatise on History and Politics, as some believe, or on Astronomy and Medicine as we are told in the Introductory Chapter of the Epic. 

But above all it is a picture of all systems of Philosophy and Religion, an Encyclopedia of all knowledge of the ancients; and it offers as complete a solution of the problems of life as man can think. That was its use in the past, that is its use today, and that is likely to be its use in the time to come.

Wednesday 10 December 2014

A brief history of Indian handicrafts

A look at the vast complexity that lies Indian handicrafts and their makers.

Continue reading...

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