Upanishads and Quantum Philosophy Compared | 101
Study of the Upanishads reveals that the ancient seers had insights into the unified, complimentary, indeterminate and relative nature of the universe. The later findings of the modern physics too brought out a world view quiet akin to the Seers’ mystic findings. Both were led by some creative visions which appear more or less equal in their findings. History of thought is colored with the argumentative stand of science and…
Mathomathis would like to present an article on: Vedic Glossary documented by Indic Cosmology, Kosla Vepa (INDIC STUDIES FOUNDATION), on the context of: THE STORY OF THE INDIC COSMOLOGY AND THE CELESTIAL TIME KEEPERS. The article would deal mainly with the Glossary, previous article can be found @Indic Cosmology | Glossary | 101 J Jnana Yoga ज्नान – The path of knowledge Jñāna (also spelled “Gyāna”; Devanagari घ्यान) is the Sanskrit term for knowledge. In Hinduism it means true knowledge, PAra Vidya, the knowledge that one’s self atman is Ultimate Reality Brahman. In Buddhism, it refers to pure awareness that is free of conceptual encumbrances, and is contrasted with Vijnana, which is a moment of ‘divided knowing’. Jnana yoga is one path (marga) towards moksha (liberation), while Yoga offers different paths for different temperaments such as Bhakti and Karma Yoga. Jivanmukta – Adi Sankara gives the true definition of a Jivanmukta – The great souls he says , calm and tranquil, live, regenerating the world like the spring; and themselves having crossed the ocean of embodied existence, and death, help those who struggle, for the same end, without the least trace of personal motives or advantage Jyotisha – One of the 6 Vedangas, also known as the science of light .It includes the study of the motion of Celestial Objects or Astronomy and the effects of the forces arising from these bodies and their effects on the human mind. It is the hypothesis of Vedic Astrology that such effects can be predicted by studying the relative location of the planets and the stars . Jyotisha is often discussed as the instructional element of the Rig Veda, and as such is a Vedangas, or “body part” of the Vedas. Jyotisha is called the Eye of the Veda, for its believed ability to view both henomenal reality and wisdom itself. Part of a larger Vedic curriculum including mathematics, architecture, medical and military applications. The author of this Vedanga is purported to be one Lagadha K Kalidasa – The poet laureate of ancient India. The author of the most widely known text and play Shakuntala Kalpasutras – constitutes part of the Vedanga consists of Grhyasutras, Dharmasutras, Sulvasutras, Srautasutras. Kama, काम – “Pleasure,desire,wish, love; enjoyment.” Earthly love, aesthetic and cultural fulfillment, pleasures of the world (often used in the sense of sexual desire, but not necessarily so), the joys of family, intellectual satisfaction. Enjoyment of happiness, security, creativity, usefulness and inspiration. An essential ingredient for the emotional health of an individual and recognized as such by the ancient Vedics. Kama is one of the four Purusharthas or goals of life, the others being dharma , artha and moksha. Kaarika – Gloss or explanatory text of an original text, such as the Kaarika of the Mandukya Upanishad by Gaudapada Karma Yoga – Karma yoga, or the “discipline of action” is based on the teachings of the Bhagavad Gita, a holy scripture of Hinduism. One of the four pillars of yoga, Karma yoga focuses on the adherence to duty (dharma) while remaining detached from the reward. It states that one can attain Moksha (salvation) by doing ones duties in an unselfish manner. A great portion of the Bhagavad Gita is engaged in discussing the efficacy of various Yogas towards the goal of self realization or Moksha. Initially Arjuna is bewildered, when Bhagavan says that the Yoga of Knowledge is superior to the Yoga of action , even though desireless it may be. Why then do you ask me to fight asks an exasperated Arjuna of his friend and mentor, if such be the case. The answer by Bhagavan and elucidated by Adi Sankara in his Bhashya is one of the major insights of this lovely Celestial song. As explained by Adi Sankara, Karma Yoga consists of 4 principles Giving up an egoistic attitude (BG 18-46),2. Giving up the hankering for the fruits or results of one’s action (BG 2-39). Maintaining equanimity in the face of desirable andhappy circumstances as well as undesirable and not so pleasant situations (BG 2-48) Surrendering of all actions as an offering to the Lord Ishwara) wholeheartedly (BG 3-33). It is possible to transcend. Karma Yoga by the Yoga of Knowledge, which is in fact the superior approach, but such an alternative is not for every individual , and is best suited for those who have realized Brahman Khagola – Celestial sphere or armillary sphere, a term used for both the geometrical celestial sphere as well as the astronomical instrument called the armillary sphere. Kshatriya – The varna identified in the classical Indic tradition as those entitled to exercise military power and perform sacrifices, the dominant Guna in the Kshatriya varna is one of Rajas, and a passion for action. It is your Dharma to engage in action protect the aged and infirm and the children and women in your protection. It is better to follow ones own Dharma (dictated by ones Gunas) admonished Sri Krishna to Arjuna than to try something, however beguiling, which is not so suited Kurgan – A region in Europe from where the putative emigration of the mythical Aryan race took place M Madhavacharya – Celebrated religious teacher and scholar of the 14th century, one of the main teachers of the Dvaita-Vedanta school of pronounced dualism. It teaches the existence or permanent reality of two fundamental principles in universal nature: spirit and matter, or divinity and the universe. This dualism is in direct contrast with the unity doctrine taught in the Advaita Vedanta or nondualistic system of Sankaracharya. Mahavrata – winter solstice Mahaavaakya, महावाक्य – The 4 expressions that embody Vedanta, the essence of attaining Jivanmukta. The Mahaavaakyas are the four “Great Sayings” of the Upanishads, foundational religious texts of Hinduism. These four sayings encapsulate the central Truth of Hinduism. The Mahaavaakya are: Prajnaanam Brahman “Conscious is Brahman” (Aitareya Upanishad 3.3). Ayam Atma Brahman “This Self (Atman) is Brahman” (Mandukya Upanishad 1.2) Tat Tvam Asi – “That Thou art ” (Chandogya Upanishad 6.8.7) Aham Brahmasmi – […]
Mathomathis would like to present an article on Cosmo Graphical Mapping by JOSEPH E. SCHWARTZBERG. The following article would start a conversation on a topic called as: MICROSCOPIC ANALOGUES OF THE COSMOS Just as the Brahman, or universal spirit, infuses all things, so too, for many ritual purposes, an infinitesimal portion of the human domain is taken to represent the whole of the cosmos. Such symbology, of course, is not exclusively associated with religions of Indian origin, but what makes it noteworthy is that, when religious practitioners carry out rituals embodying cosmic symbols, those symbols are often drawn on a prepared field according to well-defined formulas with clear conventions as to how the cosmos is to be spatially differentiated and at what scale various portions of the cosmos are to be laid out. In these respects and possibly in others, the performance of certain rituals and the building of particular types of edifices incorporates an essentially cartographic process. The earliest Aryan sacrifices involved building altars or vedis, some of which were remarkably large and elaborate structures. Vedis, however, are by their nature ephemeral artifacts. One may still stumble on vedis or their archaeological remains in traveling about India, but sacrifices today are much less important than they were in Vedic times, and their physical appurtenances are therefore commensurately rarer. I am aware of no vedis preserved in, or specially built for, a museum or preserved in situ in their completed state for post sacrificial viewing. Rather, dismantling the vedi is often a part of the ritual process. At a much more modest scale, certain folk sacrifices also entail cosmic or terrestrial symbolism, or both. One such example involves a festival known as the Govardhan Puja, in which adherents to the cult of Krishna make offerings to Mount Govardhan in the region of Braj, not far south of Delhi, where Krishna spent his youth. A legend in the Bhagavata Purana relates how Lord Krishna persuaded the cowherds of Braj to give up their worship of the Vedic god Indra and worship Mount Govardhan instead. In his wrath, the angry Indra caused seven days and seven nights of rain to visit the region of Braj. But Krishna protected the cowherds by raising Govardhan on his little finger, letting them and their cattle find shelter beneath it. Today Krishna’s devotees, in several parts of India, fashion mounds of cow dung into the form of Mount Govardhan, which they then worship. Into the dung they insert trees fashioned from stems of grass with tufts of cotton or rag on top, and around the mountain they place little men and cattle fashioned from balls of dung. Thus, in effect, a three-dimensional terrain model finds a place in a religious ritual. Like the preparation of vedis, the construction of Hindu temples has since ancient times been regulated by an elaborate set of instructions covering every aspect of the work. The various scriptures containing these instructions- commented on briefly above-date from at least the first century B.C. These texts, as author has noted, relate also to building in general and include chapters on building houses and on planning, laying out, and building villages and towns. In her classic work The Hindu Temple, Stella Kramrisch sets forth and explains in great detail the rules for temple building. These rules include drawing on ground leveled for the temple a plan called the vastupurusamandala, which is regarded as a “forecast” of the temple, “the fundament from which the building arises,” and “the place for the meeting and marriage of heaven and earth, where the whole world is present in terms of measure, and is accessible to man.” Thus temple construction, like that of vedis, required the preparation of an ephemeral one-to-one scale map. It seems not unlikely, however, that many smaller-scale plans would also have been prepared, at least for large and complex temples, with which India abounds. What is true of Hindu temples is, with appropriate modifications, also true of Buddhist stupas, whose cosmographic symbolism is in fact more explicit and easier to discern than is that of most temples. Although Buddhism became virtually extinct in India proper by about the thirteenth century and most Buddhist monuments have as a consequence fallen into ruin, dozens of massive masonry stupas have, in varying degrees, withstood the ravages of time; and a few, such as the Great Stupa at Sanchi, initially constructed in the third century B.C. and greatly enlarged in the following century, are very well preserved or restored. Additionally, there are many other large stupas on or near the periphery of India, in the Himalayas and Sri Lanka, as well as in trans-Himalayan Tibet and Southeast Asia. Because of the particular association of stupas with Lamaistic (Tibetan) and Theravada (Southeast Asian) Buddhism. Jain temples and shrines tend to be quite ornate, but in general their styles over the centuries and from one region to another have not varied significantly from those of the Hindus. In city planning and secular architecture, Indian builders were, at least in theory, to be guided by theoretical texts that incorporated cosmographic and astrological principles. A number of these, collectively known as vastuvidya, were allegedly authored by ~~is (mythical sages) and gods. In fact, the texts “appear to be collective works, built up of successive stratifications, of accretions, elaborations and modifications [over] the course of many centuries.” As with temples, builders were enjoined by these texts to draw mystic diagrams (yantras) on the ground as a forecast, in effect, of what was to emerge there. Even in domestic architecture, there were associated cosmographic rituals. When constructing a house, one had to take into account at the outset the position within the ground of the vastupurushamandala, the cosmic man, embodying the supreme principle or Brahman. This mandala, inherent in the earth itself, was marked on the ground before building could commence , as depicted in Figure 1 below [About Figure 1: This drawing, from an old Indian manual of architecture (title, date, and provenance unspecified), shows […]
Mathomathis would like to present an article on Oceans in Hindu Mythology by author R.L.S. Sikarwar Arogyadham (J.R.D. Tata Foundation for Reseach in Ayurveda & Yoga Sciences), Deendayal Research Institute, Chitrakoot, Dist. Satna (M.P.)-485 331. Since antiquity the oceans have played a significant role in Hindu religion and its greatness has been profusely illustrated in Holy Scriptures. The ocean has several Hindi and Sanskrit names and synonyms such as Samudra, Sagara, Sindhu, Jaladhi, Neernidhi, Bannidhi, Barees, Udadhi, Payodhi, Nadees, Toynidhi, Kampati, Makaralaya, Varunalaya, Mahodadhi etc. The ten synonyms of the ocean have been given in Ramcharitmanasa. Out of 10 different incarnations (Dasavatara) of Shrihari Vishnu, three avatars such as Matsya Avatar, Kurma Avatar and Varaha Avatar are directly associated with the oceans. In Rama Avatar, the bridge was constructed as per the desire of oceans and helped Lord Rama in various ways. As when the Ravana, the king of Lanka heard the news about the construction of bridge on the ocean by Lord Rama’s army led by engineers Nal & Neel, he astonished and said- “What! Has he really bridged the waves, the billows, the sea, the ocean, the floods, the deep, the main, the brine deep, the home of springs, the Lord of rivers?” The Origin of Oceans: Lord Ram’s ancestor Sagara whose sixty thousand sons dug out the bed of the ocean that is why ocean is called Sagar , the son of Sagara. Therefore, When Lord Rama asked Vibhishana, how we should cross the vast ocean? Vibhishana suggested “for being an older in your family, ocean, My Lord, will think out and suggest a plan. The whole host of bears and monkeys will thus be able to cross the sea without an effort“. The same thing is mentioned in Valmiki Ramayana as Vibhishana suggested this immeasurable ocean was dugout by King Sagara and Lord Rama is the descendant of Sagara. Therefore, the ocean must help him. The origin of Seven Oceans and Continents: It is mentioned in Shrimad Bhagwata’s Canto-5, first chapter, the seven oceans and continents were created by the movement of chariot of the king Priyabrata, the son of Swayambhuva Manu. After Swayambhuva Manu’s son was trained in the renounced order (Priyavrata) thus became the master of the universe where he endowed with powerful arms of command together with them pulled the bowstring loudly to defeat all who opposed the dharma. Without interruption for 110 million years there was the rule of the great soul who with the daily increasing amiability, femininity, shyness, laughs, glances and exchanges of love [in his repeated births] with his wife Barhishmati enjoyed a life of pleasure, but confounded and defeated by it he lost his power of discernment. Not appreciating that the sun god, as long as he circumambulated mount Meru, lit up one side of the earth and left the other half in the dark, he who in his worship of the Fortunate One was of a supernatural power then said: ‘I’ll make the night as brilliant as the day’, and to enforce that he followed the orbit of the sun in a chariot, exactly seven times and with the same speed, like he was a second sun. Thus proceeding with the wheels of his chariot that created trenches with their rims, the seven oceans came about which divided the earth (Bhu-mandala) into the seven dvipas (the continents or islands). Known as Jambu (related to Syzygium cumini), Plaksha (related to Ficus virens), Salmali (related to Bombax ceiba), Kusa (related to Desmostchya bipinnata), Kraunca, Saka and Pushkara each of them is twice the size of the preceding ocean in the beyond of which it all around is situated. Those seven oceans consisting of salt water, sugarcane juice, liquor, clarified butter, milk, fluid yogurt and sweet water are of the same size as the islands they as the trenches (of his wheels) one after the other consecutively fully enclose. For each of the dvipas separately the husband of Barhishmati beginning with Jambudvipa, placed one of his faithful sons named Agnidhra, Idhmajihva, Yajnabahu, Hiranyareta, Ghritaprishthha, Medhatithi and Vîtihotra as their king. It is mentioned in Ramcharitmanas that the great king Pratapbhanu and Lord Rama ruled over on all seven continents. By the might of his arm he subdued all the seven continents and let their princes go on payment of tribute. Now Pratapbhanu became the undisputed monarch of the whole the world. Undisputed sovereign of the entire globe girdled by the seven seas was Raghunatha, the Lord of Koshala. This lordship (of entire globe) was nothing great for him, each of whose several hairs contained many a sphere of creation. Salinity of Oceans: There are two mythological legends associated with the salinity of oceans in Holy Scriptures. 1. It is mentioned in Ramacharitmanas Lanka Kanda, that the son of wind – Lord Hanuman said, “My Lord’s might take the fierce fire beneath the sea, had before now dried up the waters of the ocean. But then it was filled up again by the floods of tears shed by your enemies weeping wives, and that is what makes saline”. 2. It is also mentioned in Epics and Puranas that once a bird gave the birth of 3 babies on the sea shore. A large ocean wave came and washed away the baby birds. To teach the lesson to the ocean, the bird started to removing off water of ocean with her beak so as to dry it gradually. The great sage Agastya asked the purpose. The bird told the story how the cruel ocean had washed away her babies. The compassionate sage Agastya said “I will punish the merciless ocean for his mistake” and went away. One day when sage Agastya was performing his worship and muttering of prayers on sea shore, a large ocean wave washed away all his worship material. The Agastya was very angry and remembered what the bird had complained. He absorbed whole Ocean in three Anjali (the hollow formed by joining both hands). The ocean dried up. Then the […]
Mathomathis would like to present an article on Cosmo Graphical Mapping by JOSEPH E. SCHWARTZBERG. The following article would start a conversation on a topic called as: Celestial Mappings To speak of celestial mapping as a part of the cosmographical tradition of traditional Hindu culture is perhaps to extend the meaning of “mapping” beyond its customary limits. Nevertheless, attempts have been made, since ancient times, to present orderly graphic portrayals of portions of the heavens in painting, sculpture, and architecture. The relevant literature is extensive. It derives on the one hand from art historians and on the other from historians of astronomy, and author have studied and understood only a small portion of the total corpus and none of it from primary sources in Sanskrit and other Indian languages. Thus, in what follows author can do no more than to provide a brief sketch of a few of the means and forms by which attempts at celestial mapping, broadly conceived, have been carried out and to indicate something of the emergence on Indian soil of certain centers of observational astronomy that sought to arrive at more objective and accurate views of the heavens than those that sufficed for most religious purposes. The development in India of anthropomorphic icons to represent heavenly bodies may be traced back to the time of the Kusanas (first century A.D.) in the case of Surya, the sun-god; to the mid-second century in the case of the planetary deities (grahas), including the sun and moon; and at least to the sixth and seventh centuries, respectively, in the cases of Rahu and Ketu, the deities associated with eclipses. These “planetary deities,” nine in all, were designated by the Sanskrit term navagrahas and were customarily portrayed in a fixed order, beginning with the seven that in turn exercised their lordship over the days of the week (sun, moon, Mars, Mercury, Jupiter, Venus, and Saturn) and ending with Rahu and Ketu. They so appear in innumerable sculptures (especially on the lintels over the portals of temples), in paintings, and in other forms. Although their early manifestations would hardly be described as maps, we do find in later cosmographies, some of which are described below, the maintenance of both the icons and the order established in ancient times. Iconographic portrayals of astronomical phenomena were not confined to the navagrahas. “In some interesting paintings of the schools of Rajasthan and of Deccan we can see personifications of the lunar days (tithi), of the hours of good auspices (muhurta), of the days of the week (dina, vara), of the months (masa), of the years (varsa), of the stars (naksatra), of the signs of the zodiac (rasi), etc. These are based on iconographic texts often reproduced in the same pictures.” Plate 27 provides a characteristic example of the way naksatras (groups of stars near the plane of the ecliptic separating various lunar mansions) have been portrayed in Rajasthan in recent centuries. Not all symbols used to represent astronomical features in painted cosmographies were pictorial. As Tantric Hinduism developed, its use of essentially geometric astronomical (and astrological) charting came to be quite important. This esoteric tradition has given rise to numerous rather varied and often complex astronomical drawings, many of which have recently found their way into semipopular art books. Author, have not found it possible to study the original sources, which are never cited in the works he has seen. Nor author have been able to translate the abundant text or interpret the mathematical formulas that characteristically accompany the published drawings. Author have referred above to a pair of huge cosmographic paintings in Minaksi temple in the south Indian city of Madurai, both recent (1963 and 1966) replacements for accidentally destroyed works that were originally executed in 1568. One of this pair, entitled Bhugolam (the earth) has already been described. The other (Figure 1), several meters to the left of it and of the same size (about 4.25 X 4.25 m), is designated Khagolam (the celestial dome). Although there is a bit of hindrance for explaining the details of the painting with confidence, He suggests that, much of it could correspond fairly well to the following summation, by Pingree, of a portion of the cosmological sections of various Puranas. [About Figure 1: This oil painting on canvas is in the waiting hall of Minaksi temple, Madurai, Tamil Nadu. It is a repainting (1966) of an original dated 1568. This diagram is believed to represent, among other things, the twelve zodiacal months; the paths of the sun, moon, and five known planets; and presumably the ties of the celestial deities Rahu and Ketu to other heavenly bodies. Size of the original: approx. 4 X 4.5 m. Photograph by Joseph E. Schwartzberg.] Above the earth’s surface and parallel to its base are a series of wheels the centers of which lie on the vertical axis of Meru, at the tip of which is located the North Polestar, Dhruva. The wheels, bearing the celestial bodies, are rotated by Brahma by means of bonds made of wind. The order of the celestial bodies varies; the earliest seems to be sun, moon, naksatras, and Saptarishis (Ursa Major). Some Puranas place the grahas (planets) between the moon and the naksatras; in others, interpolated verses add Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn (in that order) between the naksatras and the Saptarishis. Which of the many concentric circles shown in figure 1 represent the orbits (wheels) noted in the previous description is uncertain. But it seems safe to assume that the male and female figures seated in the center of the painting represent the sun and the moon, respectively, and that the wheels for the planets occupy the relatively light space between the more central and more peripheral groups of concentric rings. Radiating outward from the center of the diagram are twelve spokes that may be described as like hour divisions of a clock. Presumably these are the divisions between the twelve zodiacal months. The spokes vary in color. Those at […]
Nasadiya Sukta is one of the renowned suktha in RigVeda:- 129th suukta of the 10th mandala of the Rigveda. Mathomathis would like to present on the Sukta. nāsad āsīn no sad āsīt tadānīṁ nāsīd rajo no vyomā paro yat | kim āvarīvaḥ kuha kasya śarmann ambhaḥ kim āsīd gahanaṁ gabhīram || 1 || Then even nothingness was not, nor existence, There was no air then, nor the heavens beyond it. What covered it? Where was it? In whose keeping Was there then cosmic water, in depths unfathomed? na mṛtyur āsīd amṛtaṁ na tarhi na rātryā ahna āsīt praketaḥ | ānīd avātaṁ svadhayā tad ekaṁ tasmād dhānyan na paraḥ kiṁ canāsa || 2 || Then there was neither death nor immortality Nor was there then the torch of night and day. The One breathed windlessly and self-sustaining. There was that One then, and there was no other. tama āsīt tamasā gūl̥ham agre ‘praketaṁ salilaṁ sarvam ā idam | tucchyenābhv apihitaṁ yad āsīt tapasas tan mahinājāyataikam || 3 || At first there was only darkness wrapped in darkness. All this was only unillumined water. That One which came to be, enclosed in nothing, arose at last, born of the power of heat. kāmas tad agre sam avartatādhi manaso retaḥ prathamaṁ yad āsīt | sato bandhum asati nir avindan hṛdi pratīṣyā kavayo manīṣā || 4 || In the beginning desire descended on it. That was the primal seed, born of the mind. The sages who have searched their hearts with wisdom know that which is kin to that which is not. tiraścīno vitato raśmir eṣām adhaḥ svid āsīd upari svid āsīt | retodhā āsan mahimāna āsan svadhā avastāt prayatiḥ parastāt || 5 || And they have stretched their cord across the void, and know what was above, and what below. Seminal powers made fertile mighty forces. Below was strength, and over it was impulse. ko addhā veda ka iha pra vocat kuta ājātā kuta iyaṁ visṛṣṭiḥ | arvāg devā asya visarjanenāthā ko veda yata ābab || 6 || But, after all, who knows, and who can say Whence it all came, and how creation happened? The gods themselves are later than creation, so who knows truly whence it has arisen? iyaṁ visṛṣṭir yata ābabhūva yadi vā dadhe yadi vā na | yo asyādhyakṣaḥ parame vyoman so aṅga veda yadi vā na veda || 7 || Whence all creation had its origin, he, whether he fashioned it or whether he did not, he, who surveys it all from highest heaven, he knows – or maybe even he does not know.