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Indian History by a Schoolboy !!!

You have read many scholarly, educative and enlightening articles on HISTORY on this site. You have grown wiser reading the articles posted by Subash Kak, Rajeev Malhotra, azygos and Riverine and of the ilk.

None of that holds a candle to the one you are about to read. It is educative and entertaining. It takes the cake. It is written by a schoolboy! It is not surprising; the Indian kids are the brightest in the world. (What they turnout to be when they grow up is a different matter.)

This is a delight.

Indian History by a Schoolboy !!!

The original inhabitants of ancient India were called Adidases, who lived in two cities called Hariappa and Mujhe-na-Daro. These cities had the best drain system in the world and so there was no brain drain from them.

Ancient India was full of myths which have been handed down from son to father. A myth is a female moth. A collection of myths is called mythology, which means stories with female caricatures. One myth says that people in olden times worshipped monkeys because they were our incestors.

In olden times, there were two big families in India . One was called the Pandava and the other was called the Karova. They fought amongst themselves in a battle called Mahabharat, after which India came to be known as Mera Bharat Mahan.

In midevil times, India was ruled by the Slave Dienasty. So named because they all died a nasty death. Then came the Tughlaqs who shifted their capital from Delhi because of its pollution.

They were followed by the Mowglis. The greatest Mowgli was Akbar because he extinguished himself on the battlefield of Panipat which is in Hurryana. But his son Jehangir was peace loving; he married one Hindu wife and kept 300 porcupines. Then came Shahajahan who had 14 sons. Family planning had not been invented at that time. He also built the Taj Mahal hotel for his wife who now sleeps there.

The king sent all his sons away to distant parts of India because they started quarrelling. Dara Seiko was sent to UP, Shaikh Bhakhtiyar was sent to J & K, while Orangezip came to Bombay to fight Shivaji. However, after that they changed its name to Mumbai because Shivaji’s sena did not like it. They also do not like New Delhi , so they are calling it Door Darshan.

After the Mowglis came Vasco the Gama. He was an exploder who was circumcising India with a 100 foot clipper. Then came the British. They brought with them many inventions such as cricket, tramtarts and steamed railways. They were followed by the French who brought in French fries, pizzazz and laundry. But Robert Clive drove them out when he deafened Duplex who was out-membered since the British had the queen on their side.

Eventually, the British came to overrule India because there was too much diversity in our unity. The British overruled India for a long period. They were great expotents and impotents. They started expoting salt from India and impoting cloth. This was not liked by Mahatma Gandhi who wanted to produce his own salt. This was called the Swedish moment. During this moment, many people burnt their lion cloths in the street and refused to wear anything else. The British became very angry at this and stopped the production of Indian testiles.

In 1920, Mahatma Gandhi was married to one wife. Soon after he became the father of the nation. In 1942, he started the Quiet India moment, so named because the British were quietly lootoing our country. In 1947, India became free and its people became freely loving. This increased our population. Its government became a limited mockery, which means people are allowed to take the law in their own hands with the help of the police.

Our constipation is the best in the world because it says that no man can be hanged twice for the same crime. It also says you cannot be put in prison if you have not paid your taxis. Another important thing about our constipation is that it can be changed. This is not possible with the British constipation because it is not written on paper.

The Indian parlemint consists of two houses which are called lower and higher. This is because one Mr. Honest Abe said that two houses divided against itself cannot withstand. So Pandit Nehru asked the British for freedom at midnight since the British were afraid of the dark. At midnight , on August 15, there was a tryst in parlemint in which many participated by wearing khaki and hosting the flag.

Recently in India , there have been a large number of scams and a plaque, it can be dangerous because many people died of this plaque in Surat . Scams are all over India . One of these was in Bihar where holy cows were not given anything to eat by their elected leader. The other scam was in Bofor which is a small town in Switzerland . In this, a lot of Indian money was given to buy a gun which can shoot a coot.

Presently, India has a coalishun government made up of many parties, left, right and centre. It has started to library the economy. This means that there is now no need for a licence as the economy will be driven by itself.

India is also trying to become an Asian tiger because its own tigers are being poached. Another important event this year was the Shark Meeting at Malas Dive. At this place, shark leaders agreed to share their poverty, pollution and population.

 

 

 
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Posted by on September 2, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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Vrikshayurveda

 

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A Medicinal system for the benefit of plants

All of us know very well about the health systems that work for the benefit of humans and animals. Many may also be familiar with the ancient Indian (Auyur-Veda), Chinese (Zhōngyī xué) and Tibetan (gSoba Rig-pa) health systems for the humans. However, not many may be aware of an ancient medicinal system devised to ensure healthy growth of plants, trees and preservation of environment; and that too an Indian one! Well, is there really such a system? Yes, there is one. It is Vrikshayurveda (Sanskrit term to mean the Plant Life Science or the Science of Plant Life) – (Vriksha = tree + Ayur- Veda = science of life).

2. Vrikshayurveda

2.1 It is interesting that ancient India not only had a medical science for the humans (Auyur-Veda) but also a one for the plants, called Vrikshayurveda. The earliest references to such a science are in the Rig-Veda and Atharvaveda. The other books that provide valuable information are Kautilya’s Artha-sastra, Amarsimha’s Amarkosha, Patanjali’s Mahabhasya, Krishi-Parashara, and Varahmihira’s Brhat Samhita etc. But, no   independent texts seem to have been written on the subject. The oral tradition   however regarded Surapala’s Vrikshayurveda as a credible compendium. Sadly, the actual text of Surapala was not available.

2.2 It was only in the   year 1996 i.e. after Dr. Y. L.  Nene (Asian Agri-History Foundation , India ) procured the manuscript from the Bodleian Library, Oxford , UK and Dr. Nalini Sadhale translated it into English; Surapala’s work became known to the modern world.

[ Shri keshavapuri , however mentions :

the book Vrikshayurveda was published in English translation long back in 1935 from kolkata. it is still available over internet. Vrikshayruveda has been published in Kannada in 1950, 1972,, 1990 etc/. the reprint of 1935 edition was published in 1994 from Bengaluru. No one of the so called modern minded people took cognizance of the subject.]

3. The manuscript written in a form of Sanskrit since extinct runs into 60 pages containing 325 well-knit verses , describing, among other things, characteristics of 170 plants. Surapala’s work puts forth authoritative opinions on several issues concerning plant life such as procuring, preserving, treating of seeds before planting; preparing pits for planting saplings; selection of soil; method of watering; nourishments and fertilizers; plant diseases and plant protection from internal and external diseases , remedies there to; layout of a garden; agricultural and horticultural wonders; groundwater resources; etc.    It is a comprehensive and a systematic compendium on all issues of plant life and environment.

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4. Surapala

4.1 A word about Surapala before we get to know  his work; no definite facts are available about him or his time (as it usually happens in Indian history). Historians approximate his time as 10th century A.D. He was a renowned and a highly respected physician in the court of the King Bhima Pala. Judging by the soil types, plants, and environments discussed in the work, historians surmise Surapala lived in the Gangetic plain i.e. the present day U.P / Bihar region.

4.2 Surapala calls his work a compendium of Auyur-Veda as applied to plants. He expresses indebtedness to the earlier scholars but declares that in writing the present text his own reasoning was his guide.

4.3 What were the Ayur–Vedic principles applied ?

5. Auyur-Veda grafted on plants

5.1 As per Ayur – Veda   all substances ,all physical  and mental constitutions , all ailments and all curative processes are pancha –bhautika in character , meaning they are related to the ambiance created by the composition of five elements viz. earth , water , fire , air and space. Further, it assumes that a person’s constitution, health and disease are a result of the balance/imbalance of three different biological systems – vata, pitta and kapha. While Vata controls all the movements in the body, pitta takes care of chemical reactions and biosynthesis of various compounds within the body. Kapha, on the other hand, deals with balanced growth, development and functioning of the body. If the functions of these three humors were well balanced, then the individual would be in a healthy condition. An imbalance within or between them, would lead to various kinds of ailments. This is the tri-dosha-siddhanta. The primary purpose of Ayur – Veda   is to restore/ maintain proper balance of vata, pitta and kapha. In Surapala’s work, these concepts are grafted on to the plants as well. According to him, the plant condition, health –sickness, cause –remedies etc. all are to be viewed through the prism of Ayur-Veda.

5.2 Interestingly, the ideological structure of Ayur – Veda itself is in the image of a tree. It employs terms such as root, trunk, branches, leaves etc. while describing the disease cause, its symptoms, diagnosis, remedy etc.

5.3 Surapala advocates a holistic crop management system. He stresses the use of suitable cultivars, use of good seeds, pre-sowing treatment of seeds, use of suitable soils, growing intercrops, having optimum plant population, balanced nutrition, optimum use of water, timely weeding, protection from disorders by use of herbal products or dead animal wastes, harvest at the right stage, and seed drying and storage

6. A word of caution    Surapala also comes up with a number of impractical suggestions, untested methods, fanciful ideas that do not make sense. Therefore, caution, discretion, further study and research should go along with the enthusiasm to accept  the book.

[ Shri keshavapuri does not agree with this view. He points out:

Such caution is  meaningless. this opinion is formed without any practical knowledge of the subject. All these methods in Vrikshayruveda have been tried on large scale which is still unknown to the many, practical implementation of Vrikshayruveda can solve many problems of the modern day world like pollution of all types, which is yet unknown to many.]

The text is a very helpful compendium in deed.

***

7.  Continuing on  Vrikshayurveda, the science of the treatment of plants in other ancient texts, Prof. Girija Prasanna Majumdar writes in his Vanaspati: plants and plant-life as in Indian treatises and traditions (Published by the University of Calcutta 1927, pages: 46-49) refers to passages in Agni Purana, Brihat-samhita of Varahamihira, and other texts dealing with maintenance and treatment of plants:

Just as the human body is subject to jaundice, dropsy,  emaciation and defects (dwarfness) of finger, nose, etc., etc., so also plants suffer from similar diseases such as inception of disease, displacement or dislocation of flower, fruit, leaves, bark.

And just as by the application of the appropriate remedies unnatural growth, deterioration, wounds, fractures, etc., can be cured, so also in plants by application of proper drugs as prescribed in Vrikshayurveda.

Varahamihira gives the following signs of the diseased condition of plants:   Cold climate (low temperature), wind (dryness) and sun (high temperature) are the causes of disease. When the plant is diseased, the leaves become yellow (etiolated), buds (pravalanam) do not develop or their growth arrested, branches become dry and the sap (rasa} exudes.

Kasyapa says: those plants that have yellow leaves (pandurii patreshu), that are fruitless and denuded of leaves arid those caused by coldness, excessive heat, too much rain, dry wind and by the intermingling of roots of different plants are to be known as diseased, and are to be treated accordingly

Treatment

Remedies that are prescribed are both preventive and curative.

As a general prophylactic, Varahamihira says:   As a sort of general prophylactic, mud kneaded with ghee and Vidanga (Embelica glandulifera) should be applied to the roots; and, after which milk diluted with water should be poured.

Agni Purana also recommends similar remedies: Vidanga mixed with rice, fish and flesh all these mixed together constitute a remedy invigorating to the plants and curative of their diseases.

As regards the curatives:

A cure is prescribed for that most incurable of diseases barrenness. Varahamihira prescribes: as a remedy against barrenness, a hot decoction should be made of Kulattha (Dolichos biflorus), Masha (Phaseolus mungo var Roxburghii), Mudga (Ph. radiatus), Tila (Sesamum indicum) and Yava (Barley) which when cooled should be poured round the roots.

Almost an identical recipe occurs in the Agni Purana: Vidanga and ghee kneaded with mud and sprinkled with cold water together with Kulattha, Masha, Mungo, Yava and Tila should be used in a case of barrenness (phala-nashi).

**

8. Further Reading :

1). Sadhale, Nalini (Tr.). 1996.   Surapala’s Vrikshayurveda (The Science of Plant Life by Surapala). Agri- History Bulletin No.1. Asian Agri-History Foundation, Secunderabad – 500 009,   India .

THE PRINTED BOOK IS HARD TO GET. BUT, YOU MAY GET TO READ THE TEXT ON THE NET  ( the original manuscript in Sanskrit, with English commentary) AT

YOU MAY ALSO DOWNLOAD THE PDF VERSION

2) PLEASE ALSO READ ONLINE ANOTHER RARE BOOK

VANASPATI PLANTS AND PLANT-LIFE AS IN INDIAN TREATISES AND TRADITIONS

BY PROF.GIRIJA PRASANNA MAJUMDAR AT

http://www.rarebooksocietyofindia.org/book_archive/196174216674_10151216246831675.pdf

3) Also  Click to follow the links::

http://www.infinityfoundation.com/mandala/t_es/t_es_goyal_crop_frameset.htm http://www.infinityfoundation.com/mandala/t_es/t_es_agraw_surapala_frameset.htm

 

tree of life

 
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Posted by on September 1, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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HUMAN EXPRESSIONS WORDS, SOUNDS And SILENCE

HUMAN EXPRESSIONS — WORDS, SOUNDS and SILENCE

 

The varieties of human expressions are almost infinite. There are the bodily expressions through face, eyes, limbs, fingers etc. There are also the expressions through voice such as talking, shouting, crying, singing etc. There is another whole range of expressions through dancing ,  writing, drawing, painting, sculpting, etching, weaving, building, crafting; and through various types of instruments and also through light and shades etc. In addition, there is the complex and exaggerated forms of expressions that combine a variety of these art forms, in an ingenious manner, to produce a sensitive or a stunningly spectacular , mammoth art or a commercial expression, whichever way you choose to look at it.
 
I am talking about theater or opera productions and films.
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Each of these carries its sub-forms. It is virtually impossible to enumerate all the modes of human expressions. Most of these expressions have flowered into valid art forms. What I do not know of each of those can fill several Universities
 
As one who had to produce words to make a living I strived at writing a passably good prose in order to make myself understood. I am aware my prose does not measure up to “industry” standards. Poetry interested me a great deal, though I was incapable of writing any sort of poetry. Poetry appealed to the other side of my mind that longed to be lost amidst the flights of fantasy or loved to scale the peaks of idealism or to caress the tender graces of love. Listening to music was of course an experience of wandering in the land of delight. It is an art and an entertainment; closer to my heart.
 
As the years progressed, I realized there was another form of sublime expression that I had not meaningfully cultivated and it was ideally suited to exploring the Self. I am talking about silence. It is the silence of a kind I had not known before.
 
 
I realize Prose is the language of the mind, while poetry is the heart speaking through the medium of mind. The music, on the other hand, is the language of the heart. It emanates from heart and reaches the heart of the listener. These forms of expressions relate to the instruments of mind and heart. There is the human mind; the earth bound mind; ever  judging and doubting the reality in others. But, we have also the loving and the aspiring heart; free from insecurity, eager to establish oneness with the rest of the world. Both of these – head and the heart – explore the known and the unknown, in their own way.
 
 
Silence of course is the most sublime and the ultimate form of expression. It transcends the limitations of the mind, thought, voice and the heart. It encompasses in itself all other forms of expressions. It is the language of the Soul.
 
Let us briefly talk about forms of expressions in prose, poetry, music and silence.
 
Here is the essence of mankind’s creative genius:
 
 
PROSE
 
Prose is the lifeblood of the day to day living. It has the ability to produce concise descriptive expressions, to make life possible among our fellow beings. With the use of language and prose we grope toward understanding; and to  , some degree , intelligently respond to what meets us in the lived world. But since we live more deeply than we can think, we are always short of appropriate expressions. That forces us to improvise,to  innovate and to coin, each day, a new term to keep pace with the world streaking past us at breakneck speed. Keeping pace with the times is surely a true sign of a living and a dynamic language.
 
The growth of the language , however , is always regulated and governed by its grammar. The rigidity of grammar, the orderly structure and its disciplines are essential to preserve the identity and the purity of a language and its form.
 
A good prose aims at full expression within the limitations set by the grammar. Within that approved format a sentence is born of two elements: a thought and then a structure chosen out of an infinite number of possibilities which express the thought. It tries to present the ideas with lucidity and with slight ornamentation; to say it clearly and to make it beautiful, no matter what.
 
The test of a good prose is its ease and its readability leading you on from each sentence, paragraph and page to the next; not letting your interest wane. It not merely expresses a thought or a feeling that captivates you but succeeds in evoking a cascade of thoughts and emotions. For that reason, a good prose is comparable to music. A good book is worth reading not merely for the thought it contains but also for the thought which it inspires; just as the charm of music dwells not in the tones but in the echoes of our hearts. Inspire (from the Latin inspirare ) means to breathe life into another. As Gass once said, “Language serves not only to express thought but to make possible thoughts which could not exist without it.”
 
Once you have learned to trust your own voice and allowed that creative force inside you to come out, you can direct it to write short stories, novels, and essays and so on.
 
A good prose is essentially giving a lucid expression to a well composed mind. Prose is the language of the mind.
 
POETRY
 
Poetry is a more liberated form of expression as compared to prose. One cannot easily define poetry. As Dr. Johnson exclaimed “Sir, what is poetry? Why, Sir, it is much easier to say what it is not. We all know what light is; but it is not easy to tell what it is.”
 
Poetry discards the rigidity, the disciplines and the correctness of the structure prescribed by the grammar. Poetry enjoys the voluptuous malleability and freedom with words and sounds; it bends and twists them in any number of ways. Its concern is not so much with the correctness of form than with the sensitivity, refinement and brevity in expression of a range of thoughts, feelings as also  human emotions of joy, sorrow, grief, hope, despair, anger and fulfillment.
 
Poetry  has the soft power to compress lengthy passages of prose into a few lines of wit and wisdom. That is the reason why some call poetry, life distilled.
 
Poetry can be subtle and suggestive. The imagery that poetry evokes can hardly be captured in words. What is unsaid in poetry is more evocative than the explicit. “Poetry is the opening and closing of a door leaving those who look through to guess about what is seen during a moment” as Carl Sandburg said.
 
Poetry has the power to set us free from the limited confines of our existence and personality. It is the language in which man explores his own amazement. Poetry represents the world as a man chooses to sees it, while science represents the world as he looks at it. It is the difference between seeing with the heart, and looking at the world unfeelingly. Poetry is Truth, but not necessarily reality.
 
Poetry is a search for syllables to express an unknown. It is direct and universal. It appeals to the heart. It finds its echo in another heart. Poetry is the heart talking through the mind.
 
MUSIC
 
Music is surely the most basic of human expressions and predates the written word. The melodic and rhythmic patterns are natural to humans and are tied to the unique expression of their various cultures. Music and man have influenced each other in a variety of ways, over the ages. Music and sound have infiltrated society on many levels, from sinister use in propaganda to simple listening pleasure. Our actions and emotional responses are greatly influenced by what we hear.
Music does not need a specific language and its sounds need not carry meanings to be enjoyed as such. Music is the language of languages and is the universal language of mankind. Music is the vernacular of the heart.
 
It can be internal and personal, or uniting and widespread. Everyone can and does participate in music; whether it is creating, listening, or simply singing or humming a tune. From an entire orchestra to a single whisper, memories, new ideas and a whole spectrum of feelings can be roused. Music may produce expressions of various emotions – peaceful, relaxing, exciting, festive, boring, unsettling, unstimulating, invigorating … and so on. We can close our eyes to escape from the visual world; even in silence we can hear breathing and the heartbeat, keeping the sense of rhythm that marks the progression of time.
 
Music is an extremely versatile medium of human expression. It is capable of exploring all the features that are used in verbal communication; and can go beyond. Its sounds carry no meaning; yet, give expression to sorrow, joy, peace and prayer in a manner the words are incapable of achieving.
 
Music can express itself directly and does not need the aid of explanations to reach the listener. For instance, when one writes the most often repeated set of words ”I love you”, it carries with it an infinite shades of meanings. The author has to, each time, prop this term with additional words to provide explanations to clarify which one of those meanings, his set of three famous words meant to say. The mere words “I love you” when written could mean: I like you, I desire you, I want you sexually, or even to mean I hate you. It could be a barely audible murmur full of surrender; a wish for emotional gratification; a heartfelt admiration; a hope for love relationship; a request for intimacy; a submissiveness, a begging to be accepted; a longing for comfort and tenderness; a conquest; a dry meaningless repetition; a mockery or charade; a whiplash of cruelty; or it could a deceit or anything else.
 
Music can expresses all these and more, spontaneously, without external aid. When words fail to express the sentiments and finer emotions of the human heart, music takes the place of the sublimated language. Moreover, it does so in an explicit and structured way, which makes it an interesting window into human understanding, in general. There is none that more powerfully moves and touches consciousness, than music.
 
Music is so ideally suited to express the worlds beyond petty human concerns. It can say that which cannot be said and that on which it is impossible to be silent.. It emanates from the heart and the success of it is ultimately in the heart of the listener. Music is such an experience. It is the language of the heart.
 
After silence that which comes nearest to expressing the inexpressible is music.
 
SILENCE
 
Silence is sublime; and is the ultimate form of human expression. It envelops within itself all other forms of expressions. Every thought and every word is born out of silence, dies back into silence; and, during its life span is surrounded by silence. Silence lends the voice a space for it to reverberate. In silence resounds a voice;and , in voice silence finds its existence. Silence endows identity to thought and sound. Poetry consists in turning the invisible silence into perception and voice.
 
One cannot understand the value of silence unless one respects the validity of language, for the reality that waits to be expressed in language resides in silence. It would be impossible to think of a voice without thinking of silence; the two are inseparable. Voice and silence coexist in ones heart. If noise is the inner chaos , silence is the inner peace. That peace cannot be attained by letting one fight against the other. Peace and silence has to be attained gradually through continuous self discipline. The purpose of silence is to be able to see and hear clearly.
 
The silence we are talking about is not just the absence of sound; but it is the very space of our being and is with us every moment of our life. It transcends speech and thought. Silence also means silence from thoughts. There is something beyond mind that abides in silence. Silence is a quality; it is an experience. A silent mind, freed from slashing waves of thought and thought patterns is a more potent medium of understanding than words.
 
All religious traditions therefore stress the importance of being quiet and still in mind .They tell us that when mind is still , the Truth gets a chance to be heard in the purity of silence. They ask us to let-go all attachments, rather than fight noise. We are asked to let go of our thoughts, emotions and everything; and see what is left. We are asked to watch for that imperceptible interval of infinitesimal duration between thoughts; and seize that silence, hold on to that minute fraction in space and time and let the mind stay open. If we could do that, we are told, we are awake, at last.
 
Silence stabilized is fulfillment. That inner silence brings us in contact with the reality. It is that state of silence, stability and openness which transcends speech and thought, which we call meditation. Zen Masters tell us that the essence of living dwells in visiting that infinitesimal zone of stillness and silence again and again; and enlarging it. “Silence is the essential condition of happiness” said a Zen Master.
 
At the core of Sri Ramana’s teachings is silence. He said the inner silence is ever speaking, it is the everlasting eloquence punctured by thoughts and words; and it is the best language (Para Vac). What exists in truth is Self which resides where there is no “I” ; and that is silence, he said.
 
Our sages’ right from Sri Dakshinamurthi to Sri Ramana Maharsi and from the Buddha to the Zen Masters imparted knowledge through silence. Their silence underlined the limitations of rational knowledge, futilities of the blind alleys of metaphysical queries and the frailty hollowness of words. Where silence reigns supreme, words are rendered redundant. The language of their silence helped dispel the doubts, the confusion and uncertainties in the minds of those around them sitting in silence. Silence flows from the transcendent Self and speaks best for the enlightened.
 
Silence is the language of the soul
 
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Posted by on August 9, 2012 in Uncategorized