Vedic Roots – Origin | Vedic Scriptures & Sanskrit Literature | Insight 101
Hindu Scriptures & Sanskrit Literature | Mathomathis would like to present an article on Root By Kadambi Srinivasan | Published by | Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams | Tirupati 2019. The following article would focus on Hindu Scriptures & Sanskrit Literature. Three religions are regarded as the oldest having come down to us from prehistoric times. They are Hinduism, Zoroastrianism and Judaism. Sanskrit, as defined by Panini, is the classical Sanskrit which…
Mathomathis would like to present an article on one of the Yajnavalkya Smriti and Ancient Indian Law. The following article was adapted from “Aloysius Michael, Radhakrishnan on Hindu Moral Life and Action, Concept Publishing Company, Delhi, 1979, p. 130”. Jurisprudence or legal system, which is termed as Vyavahara Dharmasastra, is an important portion as far as the Dharmasastra literature is concerned. The development of this Vyavahara dharmasastra can be traced back to the Vedic texts in which certain principles of law are laid down. The term ‘Rta’ that appears in Vedic Samhitas, though it originally meant the uniformity of nature or cosmic order, stands for law and convention, etiquette and moral principles. The concept of Dharma in Vyavahara portion appears to have developed from this idea of ‘Rta’. The special manuals that deal with secular as well as religious laws in ancient India are collectively called as Dharmasutras. They comprise texts of three categories: “The Dharmasutras”, “The Metrical Smritis” and “The Commentaries” and digests called ‘Nibandhas’. These texts are accepted to be the authoritative texts of conducts for the individuals as well as the society. They moulded and governed the moral and social ethics, customs and practices and political laws of Indian society from very ancient times. The Dharmasutras The Dharmasutras, otherwise known as Samayacarikasutras (Samaya means agreement and Acara means custom) form a part of the Vedic supplement called Kalpa Sutras, which include mainly three types of expositions such as Srauta, Grhya and Dharma. The fourth one, Sulba Sutras, can be considered as supplements to the Srauta Sutras as they give geometrical and mathematical patterns of the fire altar and sacrificial sheds etc. in different Yagas. The Srauta and Grhya Sutras exclusively deal with ritual matters while Dharmasutras analyze and interpret the wider relations of the individual to the society. It includes areas of individual and social behaviour and norms as well as personal, civil and criminal laws. Several such texts are referred to or cited by various writers of which only four are actually available now. They are that of Apastamba, Gautama Baudhayana and Vasistha. These texts are not the works of individual authors, but they are traditions of school of thoughts represented by such authors. Though there are differences of opinion regarding the matter which of these texts are earlier or later, generally their dates can be assigned to a period between 6th and 1st century B.C. The central focus of these texts is the religious rites and ceremonies and moral duties of different classes of the community. In connection with these, topics like marriage, inheritance, son-ship and administration of justice are also dealt within them. Different types of marriages, various kinds of sons and their right to inheritance are prescribed in the second book of Apastamba. Kandikas 25 — 29 of the same book deal with several topics like protection of subjects, appointment of security officers, crime and punishment and judicial process. The GDS also covers rules on various matters like marriage, inheritance, partition and Stridhana. The third Khanda of second Prasna of BDS deals with partitioning of the paternal estate, types of sons, inheritance of different sons and inheritance of women. The topics like duties, taxes, crime and punishment and witnesses discussed in this treatise also are noteworthy. Apart from the above mentioned topics, VDS prescribes rules and regulations on adoption, which have been accepted later as the supreme authority in almost all the schools of Hindu law. Quotations from the Dharmasutras of Harita, Vishnu, Sakha and Likhita are available in later Smriti texts. Such quotations prove that those texts also contain prescriptions related to civil and administrative law. It is true that the topics mentioned above contain certain bare references to different aspects of Vyavahara. They do not deal with detailed laws and rules as in later Smriti texts. Still they can be considered as the base for the development of the Vyavahara law in the later Smrti texts. Development of Legal System in Smriti Texts The legal texts composed in Slokas are commonly called as Smritis. In these texts all the legal principles, scattered here and there in Vedic texts and Dharmasutras and the customs and practices accepted by the society, are collected together and arranged in a systematic manner. The earliest representation of such codification is Manusmriti (MS) in which all kinds of religious, social and legal rules are seen described. A more scientific and systematic treatment of these topics is found in YS. The broad division of the text into three parts, Acara Vyavahara and Prayascitta, itself is significant. The Vyavahara dhyaya, which contains twenty five Prakaranas, is devoted to the discussion of the eighteen points of dispute. Here Yajnavalkya does not confine to the eighteen titles of law prescribed by Manu. He states that a Vyavahara arises if any right of any person is infringed or any injury is caused. It can be said that Yajnavalkya inaugurated a new phase in the development of ancient Indian legal system. As far as Narada Smriti is concerned, the entire text is dedicated for Vyavahara portion only. A detailed discussion of the eighteen titles of law, with great clarity, is given there. By omitting Acara and Prayascitta portions, it makes a departure from the earlier works. It also presents some advanced and progressive views regarding juristic principles. Other two important texts related to law are: Brihaspati Smriti and Katyayana Smriti. Both these texts are not traced fully. As regards the Brihaspati Smriti, only a reconstructed text by Prof. K.V. Rangaswami Aiyangar is available now. In the printed text the Vyavahara section covers 228 pages. It is Brhaspati, who for the first time made a clear distinction between civil and criminal justice. The basic concept of law of partnership, laid down in this Smrti, corresponds to the modem concept of the law of partnership. The verses attributed to Katyayana in the commentaries and digests have been collected and published under the title Katyayana Smrti saroddhara by P.V.Kane. These collected verses will convince one […]
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 consists of pictorial presentation of the Maps
Mathomathis would like to present an article which was published by author G.C.Tripathi on The Poet and the Poetry in the Rigveda. Among the ancient-most religious texts of literary character, the Ṛgveda occupies the topmost place of pride, not only because of its spiritually inspired religious fevour and its sublime philosophy, but also for an unexcelled beauty of its poetry couched in a wonderfully well structured language with highly artistic literary expressions. The Ṛṣi-poet of the Ṛgveda is an arrived sage and an accomplished poet rolled into one. The Poet – Interrelationship between the poet and the gods The spiritual preceptors of India have always underlined the importance of a direct experience of transcendental reality and have accepted it not only as the basic source but also the very substratum of all mundane reality. The Vedic poet is a Ṛṣi who perceives and directly experiences such a transcendental reality through his inner vision, a vision that transcends both time and space, with the result that he is capable of visualizing the mysteries of the gods and the universe and reveals them to us. His speech is revelation, revelation of the highest spiritual truth. For this unique capability, he is often equated with gods and so the gods with poets. “Our umbilical cord is with gods” (asmākaṃ teṣu [deveṣu] nābhayḥ) says the poet of RV 1.39.9. In RV 7.52.13 the poet exhorts the people to glorify and make obeisance to the brilliant group of Maruts who are ‘kavi” and ‘vedhasaḥ’ (creators) in their own right: God Agni has also been addressed as kavi (kaviṃ samrājamatithiṃ janānām….) because he is jātavedas, i.e. knows everyone who is born in the world, being present in their bodies. The occasional use of the expression kavi (‘visionary’) for a poet in the Vedic hymns, a word which denotes the sense of a person capable of looking beyond time and space (krāntadarśin) and which is meant to be applied primarily and mainly for the Supreme Creator, underlines the importance of the creative activity of a poet in the minds of Vedic literati which was not considered to be lesser or lower in any respect than that of the creator. Kavi: The Creator: The following, relatively well known, sentence from the isāvāsya-Upaniṣad (=YV 40.8) stating that ‘the self-born, all surrounding, wise and visionary [Creator] goes on creating perpetually the worldly objects in their proper from – as they ought to be’, has justifiably been understood as applicable to the literary activities of a poet as well: The expression ‘vyadadhāt’ (created) needs attention here. This is an activity which is connected with its agent Vedhas, the Creator, but which is also a homonym for poet. Vedhas is someone who combines in himself the elements of both knowledge and action. The poet also has both. He has thoughts, emotions, feelings and visions combined with the creative capability of expressing them in a nicely structured verbal form – form which conjures up and recreates the vision of the poet in the mind of the reader/listener. This capability to ‘create’ poetry, not common to all, is the quality which is termed as Śakti by Mammaṭa in his Kāvyaprakāśa (I.3) and is considered to be a divine gift. The Poet and the Poetry in the Ṛigveda The idea of according an exalted status similar to that of the creator god comes down to the classical period where we meet with the following famous statement: Kavi and Vedhas are not the only expressions used for the Vedic poets. There are at least four more terms used for a Vedic poet which are Ṛṣi, Vipra, Sūri and Kāru. Kavi: The Divine Visionary: Ṛṣi is a sage, a person endowed with Intuitive knowledge (prātibha-jñanavān); nothing is hidden from him. He is the one who is in direct touch with the supreme powers and receives inspirations from them. Gods are the protectors of Ṛta (Cosmic order) which is the source of those laws (dharmāṇi) which govern and hold this universe. A Ṛṣi has intimate knowledge of these dharmāṇi which he propagates through his sayings. His words and spells have magical effect. Ṛishi Viswamitra is capable of checking the flow of the rivers Vipāś and Śutudrī at their confluence so that the clan of Bharatas could wade through their beds and cross over to the other side (RV III.33). Kavi: The Inspired One: The word Vipra is derived from the root ‘vepṛ-kampane’, He is the one who gets emotionally charged, stirred up, moved. He is distinguished from others because of for his fervency and enthusiasm, has had experience of spiritual rapture, and enlightenment and is inspired to put his experience in words. A Ṛṣi could be a vipra, but a vipra is not necessarily a Ṛṣi (cf. ṛṣiḥ ko vipra ohate…., RV 8.3.14). Kavi: The Enlightened One: Sūri is a knowledgeable and wise person, an enlightened one. The word is connected with the term ‘svar’ which means light – also the lighted space, the heaven (cf. the word Sūrya). He is mostly given to contemplation and meditation in his quest to discover the mysteries of the Universe (cf. tad viṣṇoḥ paramaṃ padaṃ, sadā paśyanti sūrayaḥ…. RV 1.22.16). Kavi: The Technician: Kāru (=the ‘maker’ from the root kṛ) is simply a ‘composer’, a skillful professional poet who can create poetry on any subject at the behest of his benefactor. The composer RV 9.121.3, declares himself as such (kārur ahaṃ pitā bhiṣak…). Sometimes the activity of such a poet is compared to the work of a craftsman or carpenter (taṣṭā, tvaṣṭā) who fashions a chariot out of wooden material, and as such these two words taṣṭa and tvaṣṭā also occur in the Ṛigveda in the sense of poet and the expression sutaṣṭam (well crafted) is often used as an adjective to a prayer or hymn in the sense of ‘well composed’. The Composition (Poetry) – Synonyms of Poetry A number of words and expressions occur in the Rigveda to denote poetic compositions, some of them are nouns, but many of them are […]
Mathomathis would like to present an article on Glimpse Of Vedic Geometry by Prof. K.V.Krishna Murthy. He becomes richer by adding the finer qualities of both Lakshmi and Saraswathi to himself. His bad qualities have been subtracted from him by the kind look of Shiva. Since his good qualities have increased, admirations from others have multiplied for him. He divides the hearts of scholars and keeps them with him. i.e., all these scholars appreciate him. These are the achievements of good-hearted person, who churned the ocean of mathematics and he excels all scholars. This is a verse by the author in praise of Mathematics and Mathematicians. Since Mathematics is none other than the logic, wherever and whenever Mathematical sciences advance, the growth of Physical sciences follows. This is a fact established by history. In order to assess the state of scientific development of any country at a given time, generally it may be adequate to study the state of mathematics of the time. We can infer the state of other sciences from that. Just as Mathematics, is for Physical sciences, so is logic for philosophical knowledge. Wherever logic develops, math too flourishes there. In fact, there is only one difference between math and logic. Logic is expressed in the local language, whereas math is expressed in numbers and lines. Ancient Indians, who had a spectrum of sciences for their credit, valued mathematics with the same reverence. Here is an evidence for this, form a work called Vedanga Jhyotisha, which belongs to a period older than 1200 B.C Just as the natural feather on the head of a peacock and just as gems on the head of a divine serpent, Jyotisha – the science of astronomy is placed on the head of the other sastras – so says the well known Vedanga Jyotisha. In Bhagavad Gita the lord says:- is the meaning given by Sri Sankaracharya. कलनं संकलनं व्य्वकलनं are the basic forms of गणनं संकलनं . Means addition, व्य्वकलनं means subtraction. Simplified addition is multiplication and simplified subtraction is division. Whatever may be the extent of development, mathematics can never go beyond these four operations, to be more precise, beyond these two operations. Hence, we can easily infer that Kaala and Ganita are not different from each other. Jyotisha is the science of Kaala. Hence, Jyotisha and Ganita can not be different. Hence we can write: Time = Astronomy = Mathematics. But you can ask one question. Time is represented by numbers, where as jyotisha deals with geometrical figures. Then, how can these two be equal? When these two are not equal, how can we say Time = Astronomy = Mathematics. The question may be correct only to some extent. Astronomy is the science of time and so, some may not like to say that time = Astronomy even then, they cannot deny the equations. This is because, mathematics is a science in which there are two important and unseperable branches, viz., Mathematics of numbers Mathematics of space. The maths of time deals with numbers and the maths of space deals with lines, whether straight or curved. Since time and space are inseparable, you can not separate these two branches of mathematics. Since the most ancient and the most modern concepts accept that, in the ultimate, time and space are not different, these two branches of mathematics also cant be different, of course , in the ultimate. The “ultimate” is thoroughly discussed in the Vedas from different angles and hence, the Veda had to deal with the numbers, the space and the mathematics which embodies both of them. Stray numbers can be used and utilized by even primitive societies, but numbers as a system can be utilized only by a developed society. In fact, history proves to us that, in any period of time, where the numbers are used in a more systematic way, the better is the civilization of that society as a whole. Even though we are not exactly sure of what a Vedic period is, whatever it may be, we can estimate its civilization basing on the number systems available in the Vedas. Pythagoras, the celebrated philosopher and mathematician of 3rd century B.C, tried to evolve a numbering system, to count the particles of a sand in a given jar of sand and wrote his thesis – “The calculus of sand”. But, unfortunately, he could not develop a perfect decimal system of numbers, because he could not think of “Zero” at that time. But thousands of years before that, we find a full-fledged decimal system of numbers in the Veda mantras: Which gives the values of 100 to 1012. Please note that the value of 100 is given as “1” in the sequence. This is not a rare or strange reference from Veda. “ Oh Lord Agni! Prostrations to you once, twice, thrice, four times five times, ten times, hundred times upto thousand times and unlimited number of times”. Here we find a definite pattern of progression of numbers. In the well known Chamakadhyaya of Krishna Yajurveda, the mantra gives two sequences of numbers 2 VIZ., 1, 3, 5, 7, 9, 11, 13, 15, 17, 19, 21, 23, 25, 27, 29, 31 And 4, 8,12, 16, 20, 24, 28, 32, 36, 40, 44, 48. The first one is a sequence of odd numbers from 1 to 31 for the second one is not a sequence of simple even numbers. We can observe that these sequences follow the formula. xn + xn+1 = y1; x being the member of the 1st sequence and Y , of the 2nd sequence. Eg: 1 + 3 = 4; 3+5=8 upto the 12th place. Thus we find an intricate and perfect systematic use of numbers in the Vedas. Added to this, perfect discretions of cosmological events are found in the Vedas. The famous Nakshatreti Prakarana of Yajurveda, the cosmological details given in Rigveda, are more than enough to prove this. As we entered the post Vedic Ancient Literature, there are four important places, where […]
Mathomathis would like to present article on Indian Astronomy | Astronomical Dating of Events | 103 by the author Kosla Vepa Published by Indic Studies Foundation, 948 Happy Valley Rd., Pleasanton, Ca 94566, USA. Previous article can be found here (Indian Astronomy | Astronomical Dating of Events | 108 (Vikrama Samvat | Saptarsi Tradition)) Their website can be located Indicstudies.us. The studies is also conducted by N.S. Rajaram PhD. Author’s in the volume 1 of their research start their discussion on a topic called Why are History and the Chronology Important by Kosla Vepa PhD. The Western historians have tried to identify Kanishka era with 78 CE in their attempt to deny historicity of the Salivahana saka. Professor Sengupta had considered astronomical information from two kharosthi inscriptions which refer to regnal years of Kanishka , but could not match with the 78 CE date and so he proposed his own date for the starting of the Kanishka era. The inscriptions in question are no.26 and no. 35 in the Corpus Inscriptionum Indicarum Vol. II. edited by Sten Konow. According to the inscriptions, in the eleventh year of reign of king Kanishka, on the 20th day of Asadha, it was uttaraphalguni naksatra. In the year 61, on the 8th day of caitra, the naksatra was purvasadha. Know had concluded that the full moon day was the first day of the month in these inscriptions. Sengupta correctly pointed out that there is no such Indian system in which the first day of the month is the full moon day. The months are full moon ending months and the 20th day of Asadha of the inscription would correspond to sravana sukla panchami and 8th day of caitra would correspond to caitra krsna astami. With these calendrical data, when Sengupta tried to calculate the dates based on the 78 CE as the beginning of Kanishka era, he could not quite match the data from the inscriptions. So he proposed that the Kanishka era be started from December 25 of 79 CE, nearly two years after the Salivahana saka. But, based on the list from Rajataragini, Kanishka’s date would be 1298 BCE. The eleventh and sixty-first years would be 1287 BCE and 1237 BCE respectively. Figure A shows the star map for June 23, 1287 BCE, it is sravana sukla pancami uttaraphalguni, an exact match to the inscription. Figure B shows the star map for March 1, 1237 BCE, caitra krsna astami, also an exact match to inscription no. This clearly establishes the consistency of the record in rajatarangini with the kharosthi inscriptions and hence the miss-identification of Kanishka era by the Western historians. Author Concludes as following: The real history of Bharata is preserved in its itihasa and purana texts. The Chronology is comprehensive and cogent. Simulations of the astronomical data preserved in these texts, using modern planetarium software, have attested the coherence of the chronology. From the date of the Mahabharata war, the sarpa yaga of Janamejaya, the date of Buddha, Asoka Maurya, Kanishka, Adi Sankara, the Gupta period, through the Vikrama and Salivahana sakas, the chronology exhibits a continuous flow which has been convincingly demonstrated by the simulations using planetarium software. The consistency is staggering. Many of the sticky points with ‘traditional chronology’ of the historians is simply resolved with these stimulations. There is still a large body of inscriptional data awaiting validation by simulations using the planetarium software.