Indian Shastras and Scriptures in the Field of Science

Shastra is a broad term and include any book which has codes and conduct given by God. Shastras include Vedas, Puranas and Upanishads. The term Veda means knowledge and in ancient India all science were believed to be derived from and based on Vedas. Vedas were spoken by lord himself to brahma, from within his heart. Vedic knowledge is “sruti” mean to be learned by aural reception.

In kali, due to lower intelligence and memory the people were unable to acquire knowledge by just hearing hence Vedas were compiled in written form by Vyasadeva rishi. Numerous rishis and scholars have acquired the knowledge of Vedas and have discovered and invented many things and have written many books in various fields of sciences.

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Concept of Atom

Acharya Kanad conceptualized atomic theory. Kanad was a sixth-century scientist of Vaisheshika School, one of the six systems of Indian philosophy. His original name was Aulukya. He got the name Kanad, because even as a child, he was interested in very minute particles called “kana”. He says, “Every object of creation is made of atoms which in turn connect with each other to form molecules.” In Srimad-Bhagavatam, Canto-3, Chapter 11, Calculation of Time, from the Atom is been described.

Concept of Matter

Matter can neither be created nor destroyed. In Bhagavad gita chapter 2. 16th verse it is written as – “naasato vidyate bhavo naabhavo vidyate satah” it means that “The non-existence cannot be brought into being and that which exist cannot be un-existed, destroyed”.

Concept of Gravity

Varahamihira was another well-known scientist of the ancient period in India. He lived in the Gupta period. Varahamihira made great contributions in the fields of hydrology, geology and ecology.Varahamihira stated that there were some attractive forces in the stars of the universe due to such forces the earth was able to float

Bhaskaracharaya had referred to gravity in his work of Siddhanta Siromany Bhuvanakosham 6

Mathematics

Many rishis and scholars have done a splendorous job in the field of mathematics, such as Baudhayan, Aryabhatta, Brahmgupta, Bhaskaracharya, Mahaviracharya etc.

The value of pi was first calculated by ‘Baudhayan’. The Baudhayan’s Sulva Sutra describes Pythagoras theorem which was written several years before the age of Pythagoras.. Baudhayan was the first one ever to arrive at several concepts in Mathematics, which were later rediscovered by the western world.

Aryabhatta was a fifth-century mathematician, astronomer, astrologer, and physicist. He was a pioneer in the field of mathematics. At the age of 23, he wrote Aryabhattiya, which is a summary of the mathematics of his time. Aryabhatta showed that zero was not a numeral only but also a symbol and a concept. Discovery of zero enabled Aryabhatta to find out the exact distance between the earth and the moon. The discovery of zero also opened up a new dimension of negative numerals.

Bhaskaracharya was the leading light of 12th Century. He was born in Bijapur, Karnataka. He is famous for his book Siddhanta Shiromani. It is divided into four sections: Lilavati (Arithmetic), Beejaganit (Algebra), Goladhyaya (Sphere) and Grahaganit (mathematics of planets). Bhaskara introduced Chakrawat Method or the Cyclic Method to solve algebraic equations. This method was rediscovered six centuries later by European mathematicians, who called it inverse cycle. In the nineteenth century, an English man, James Taylor, translated Lilavati and made this great work known to the world.

In the 7th century, Brahmgupta took mathematics to heights far beyond others. In his methods of multiplication, he used place value in almost the same way as it is used today. He introduced negative numbers and operations on zero into mathematics. He wrote Brahm Sputa Siddantika through which the Arabs came to know our mathematical system.

There is an elaborate description of mathematics in the Jain literature (500 B.C -100 B.C). Jain gurus knew how to solve quadratic equations. They have also described fractions, algebraic equations, series, set theory, logarithms and exponents in a very interesting manner. Jain Guru Mahaviracharya wrote Ganit Sara Sangraha in 850A.D., which is the first textbook on arithmetic in present-day form. The current method of solving Least Common Multiple (LCM) of given numbers was also described by him. Thus, long before John Napier introduced it to the world, it was already known to Indians.

Astronomy and Astrology

In ancient India, the science of astronomy was well advanced. It was called ‘Khagolshastra’. Khagol was the famous astronomical observatory at Nalanda, where Aryabhatta studied. In fact the science of astronomy was highly advanced and our ancestors were proud of it. The aim behind the development of the science of astronomy was the need to have accurate calendars, a better understanding of climate and rainfall patterns for timely sowing and choice of crops, fixing the dates of seasons and festivals, navigation, calculation of time and casting of horoscopes for use in astrology. Knowledge of astronomy, particularly knowledge of the tides and the stars, was of great importance in trade, because of the requirement of crossing the oceans and deserts during night time.

Aryabhatta explained that earth is round and rotates on its own axis and disproved that earth is Achala. He also gave a scientific explanation for solar and lunar eclipse. He explained that the appearance of the sun moving from east to west is false by giving examples. One such example was: When a person travels in a boat, the trees on the shore appear to move in the opposite direction. He also correctly stated that the moon and the planets shined by reflected sunlight. Another prominent astronomer was Varahamihira who declared that the earth was spherical before Aryabhata. He proposed that the Moon and planets are lustrous not because of their own light but due to sunlight.

Astrology/Jyotish- Astrology is the science of predicting the future, which means the science of light, originated with the Vedas. Astrology was given a very high place in ancient India and it has continued even today. It was presented scientifically by Aryabhatta and Varahamihira. Aryabhatta devoted two out of the four sections of his work Aryabhattiyam to astronomy, which is the basis for Astrology. Astrology is the science of predicting the future. Varahamihira’s predictions were so accurate that he was considered one of the nine gems, in the court of Vikramaditya.

Medical Science

Medical Science was highly developed in India and this ancient Indian system of medicine not only helps in the treatment of diseases but also in finding the causes and symptoms of diseases. It is a guide for the healthy as well as the sick.

One such science is Ayurveda which is an indigenous system of medicine that was developed in Ancient India. The word Ayurveda literally means the science of good health and longevity of life. It defines health as equilibrium in three doshas (Vata, Pitta, and Kapha) and diseases as the disturbance in these three doshas. While treating a disease with the help of herbal medicines, it aims at removing the cause of disease by striking at the roots. The Atreya Samhita’ is the oldest medical book in the world. . Charak, Madhava, Vagbhatta, and Jeevak were noted ayurvedic practitioners and Charak was called the father of Ayurvedic medicine. He was the Raj Vaidya (royal doctor) in the court of Kanishka. His Charak Samhita is a remarkable book on medicine. It has the description of a large number of diseases and gives methods of identifying their causes as well as the method of their treatment. He was the first to talk about digestion, metabolism, and immunity as important for health and so medical science. In Charak Samhita, more stress has been laid on removing the cause of disease rather than simply treating the illness. Charak also knew the fundamentals of Genetics.

Surgery: Susruta was a pioneer in the field of surgery and was the main author of the treatise Susruta Samhita. In Susruta Samhita, over 1100 diseases are mentioned including fevers of twenty-six kinds, jaundice of eight kinds and urinary complaints of twenty kinds are described. He studied human anatomy with the help of a dead body. In Susruta Samhita, the method of selecting and preserving a dead body for the purpose of its detailed study has also been described.

Susruta’s greatest contribution was in the fields of Rhinoplasty (plastic surgery) and ophthalmic surgery (removal of cataracts). In Susruta Samhita, there is a very accurate step-by-step description of these operations. Surprisingly, the steps followed by Susruta are strikingly similar to those followed by modern surgeons while doing plastic surgery. Susruta Samhita also gives a description of 101 instruments used in surgery. Some serious operations performed those days include taking the fetus out of the womb, repairing the damaged rectum, removing a stone from the bladder, etc.

Education and Ethics

Gurukul system of education existed during ancient times where students used to reside at guru’s place and learn everything which can be later implemented to find solutions to real life problems Ancient India very well understood that science and spirituality complement one another. Albert Einstein said that “science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind” Science studies mainly the material nature, whereas Vedanta studies both material nature as well as spiritual nature. The spiritual nature includes the deeper study of reality beyond material nature that is beyond atoms and molecules, thus it realizes the existence of soul, atman, and consciousness.

Conclusion

The first precept of Vedanta sutura states- athato brahma jijnasa means in the human form of life one should inquire about brahman, the absolute truth. The apara-vidya (scientific knowledge) is lower knowledge and para-vidya (spiritual knowledge) is higher knowledge. Therefore ancient India and its scriptures lead us to the Absolute Truth or Higher Knowledge.

 

 

Author: Adarsh M.Kalla ~ Via IndianDivine

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Durga Ashtakam

Karthyayaini, Mahamaye,
Gadga bana dhaurdhare,
Gadga dharinee chandi,
Sri Durga Devi namosthuthe., 1

Salutations to goddess Durga,
Who is Karthyayaini,
Who is the greatest enchantress,
Who carries with her sword, arrow and bow,
And who is Chandi who carries the sword.

Vasudeva suthe, kali,
Vasu deva sahodhari,
Vasundhara sriye nandhe,
Sri Durga Devi namosthuthe., 2

Salutations to goddess Durga,
Who is the daughter of king Vasudeva,
Who is the sister to Lord Vaasudeva,
And who is the lady who is earth as well as Lakshmi.

Yoga nidhre, maha nidhre,
Yoga maye, maaheswari,
Yoga sidhikari shudhe,
Sri Durga Devi namosthuthe., 3

Salutations to goddess Durga,
Who is the sleep of yoga,
Who is the great sleep,
Who is enchantress of yoga,
Who is the greatest goddess,
Who is the one who gives powers through yoga,
And who is clean and truthful.

Sankha chakra gada pane,
Sarnga jyayatha bahave,
Peethmbara dhare, dhanye,
Sri Durga Devi namosthuthe., 4

Salutations to goddess Durga,
Who holds conch, wheel and mace,
Who blows the conch called Sarnga of Vishnu,
And who is blessed and wears yellow silk.

Rik Yajur sama adarvana,
Schadu Samantha lokinee,
Brahma swaroopini, brahmi,
Sri Durga Devi namosthuthe., 5

Salutations to goddess Durga,
Who lives in the four areas,
Of Rik, Yajur, sama and Atharvana Veda,
Who is the power of Brahma and is like Brahma.

Vrushneenaam kula sambhoothe,
Vishnu nadha sahodharee,
Vrushnee roopa dhare dhanya,
Sri Durga Devi namosthuthe., 6

Salutations to goddess Durga,
Who belongs to the clan of Vrushnees,
Who is the sister of Lord Vishnu,
And who is blessed by taking the form of Vrushnee.

Sarvagna, sarvage sarve,
Sarveshwari, sarva sakshini,
Sarvamrutha jada bhare,
Sri Durga Devi namosthuthe., 7

Salutations to goddess Durga,
Who knows all, is everywhere, and belongs to Shiva,
Who is the Goddess of all and is the witness of all,
And who carries the nectar as her tufted hair.

Ashta bahu maha sathwe,
Ashtami navami priye,
Attahasa priye bhadre,
Sri Durga Devi namosthuthe., 8

Salutations to goddess Durga,
Who is the great being with eight hands,
Who likes Ashtami and Navami 
Who takes care but likes fierce play.

Durgashtakamidham punyam,
Bhakthidho ya paden nara,
Sarva kamavapnothi,
Durga lokam sa gachathi., 9

If this holy octet on Durga,
Is read by men with devotion,
They would get all desires fulfilled,
And attain the world of Durga.

Lingashtakam

Text One

brahma muraari suraarchita lingam
nirmala bhashita shobhita lingam
janmaja dukha vinaashaka lingam
tat pranamaami sadaa shiva lingam

I bow before that Sada Shiva Linga, which is adored by Brahma, Vishnu and other Gods, which is praised by pure and holy speeches and which destroys the cycle of births and deaths.

Text Two

devamuni pravaraarchita lingam
kaamadaham karunaakara lingam
raavana darpa vinaashaka lingam
tat pranamaami sada shiva lingam

I bow before that Sada Shiva Linga, which is the destroyer of desires, which the Devas and the sages worship, which is infinitely compassionate and which subdued the pride of Raavana.

Text Three

sarva sugandha sulepitha lingam
buddhi vivardhana kaarana lingam
siddha suraasura vanditha lingam
tat pranamaami sadaa shiva lingam

I bow before that Sada Shiva Linga, which is lavishly smeared with variegated perfumes and scents, which elevates the power of thought and enkindles the light of discrimination, and before which the Siddhas and Suras and Asuras prostrate.

Text Four

kanaka mahaamani bhushitha lingam
phanipathi veshtitha shobhitha lingam
daksha suyajna vinaashaka lingam
tat pranamaami sadaa shiva lingam

I bow before that Sada Shiva Linga, the destroyer of Dakshas sacrifice, which is decorated with various ornaments, studded with different gems and rubies and which glows with the garland of the serpent Lord coiled around it.

Text Five

kumkuma chandana lepitha lingam
pankaja haara sushobhitha lingam
sanchitha paapa vinaashaka lingam
tat pranamaami sadaa shiva lingam

I bow before that Sada Shiva Linga, which is smeared with saffron and sandal paste, which is decorated with lotus garlands and which wipes out all accumulated sins.

Text Six

devaganaarchitha sevitha lingam
bhaavair bhakti bhirevacha lingam
dinakara koti prabhakara lingam
tat pranamaami sadaa shiva lingam

I bow before that Sada Shiva Linga which is worshipped by the multitude of Gods with genuine thoughts full of faith and devotion and whose splendor is like that of a million suns.

Text Seven

ashta dalopari veshtitha lingam
sarva samudbhava kaarana lingam
ashta daridra vinaashaka lingam
tat pranamaami sadaa shiva lingam

I bow before that Sada Shiva Linga, destroyer of all poverty and misery in its eight aspects, which is the cause of all creation and which stands on the eight petalled Lotus.

Text Eight

suraguru suravara pujitha lingam
suravana pushpa sadaarchitha lingam
paraatparam paramatmaka lingam
tat pranamaami sadaa shiva lingam

I bow before that Sada Shiva Linga which is the Transcendent Being and the Supreme Self, worshipped by all Suras and their preceptor (Brhaspathi), with innumerable flowers from the celestial gardens.

Text Nine

lingashtakamidam punyam
ya:pathaet sivasannidau .
sivalokamavapnoti sivena saha modatae.

Whoever recites these eight slokas, in praise of the Shivalinga with the presence of Lord Shiva, attains that Supreme abode of Shiva and enjoys everlasting bliss with Him.

 

The story of Aravan, the God of the Transgender

Most of us find Mahabharata to be a very mystifying chronicle. This is because Mahabharata has a lot of characters and each character is associated to the other in some or the other way.

As this epic has so many legendary characters such as Pandavas, Draupadi, Kauravas around whom the whole story revolves, people are not quite familiar with the other characters that also have a crucial role in the epic.

Today, I will try to narrate you the story of Aravan or Iravan, one such minor yet crucial character of Mahabharata. It is from his lineage that the transgender are said to have been born. That is why the transgenders or hijras are also known as Aravanis.

The story of Lord Aravan can be called one of the most tragic tales of Mahabharata where he sacrifices himself for the greater good. But he does leave a lineage before he dies which makes him immortal in the history of mankind. Want to know his story? Then, read on.

Aravan was the son of the great Mahabharata warrior, Arjuna and his wife Ulupi, the Naga princess. Aravan is the central God of the cult of Kuttantavar. Like his father, Aravan was a fierce warrior.

Aravan

He participated in the Kurukshetra war with his father and the other Pandavas. He fought bravely and gave himself up for a huge sacrifice.

The earliest source of mention regarding Aravan is found in Peruntevanar’s Parata Venpa, a 9th-century Tamil version of the Mahabharata.

There it talks about a special sacrificial ritual known as the ‘Kalappali’, which means sacrifice to the battlefield. It was believed that whoever performs this sacrifice ensures victory in the battlefield.

In this ritual, the most valiant warrior must sacrifice his life in front of Goddess Kali in order to ensure the victory of his side. Aravan volunteered to sacrifice himself in the ritual.

In Parata Venpa, Aravan asks Krishna to grant him the boon of a heroic death in the battlefield. Aravan is believed to have been granted a second boon – to see the entire 18-day war.

The third boon is found only in the folk rituals. This third boon provides Aravan to be married before the sacrifice, entitling him to the right of cremation and funerary offerings (bachelors were buried).

However, no woman wanted to marry Aravan, fearing the inevitable doom of widowhood. In the Kuttantavar cult version, Krishna solves this dilemma by taking on his female form, Mohini, marries Aravan and spends that night with him.

The Koovagam version additionally relates Krishna’s mourning as a widow after Aravan’s sacrifice the next day, after which he returns to his original masculine form for the duration of the war.

Aravanis Aravan is known as Kuttantavar in the cult which bears his name, and in which he is the chief deity.

Here, the marriage of Aravan and Mohini, her widowhood and mourning after Aravan’s sacrifice form the central theme of an 18-day annual festival either side of the night of the full moon in the Tamil month of Cittirai.

The Alis or the Aravanis (transgenders) take part in the Koovagam festival by re-enacting the marriage of Aravan and Mohini. It is believed that all the Aravanis are married to Aravan and hence, when the sacrifice is re-enacted, the Aravanis become widows of Aravan and mourn his death.

 

 

Via~ https://www.speakingtree.in/

Karwa Chauth Vrat Katha

Karwa Chauth is a very popular fasting observance practiced by married Hindu women in North India; to seek long life and welfare of their husbands.

On this auspicious day, women keep day-long fast and offer prayer to Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati.

It is believed that those who observe this fast are blessed with lifelong prosperity and a healthy spouse. In the Indian culture, Hindu women observed this fast for their husbands.

During the day women abstain from food and water, and at night after moonrise, they break their fasts by reading the ‘vrat katha’ and performing the ‘puja vidhi’. There is a very interesting katha behind this fast.

karwa

 

Long ago, there lived a very beautiful princess named Veeravati, who was married to a wealthy and strong king. As per the usual practice during those days, the day of Karwa Chauth arrived and the queen left for her parents’ house.

She was very devoted to Lord Shiva and Parvati and therefore decided to observe the Karva Chauth fasting.

She woke up at sunrise and started the fasting abided by worship and pujas. The whole day she did not eat anything and therefore turned so weak and fell unconscious.Karwa-Chauth-Vrat-Katha-In-Hindi-Punjabi-Karva-Chauth-Puja-Vidhi-Samagri

As per the custom, food should be partaken only after sighting the moonrise.

Her loving brothers could not bear the pain of seeing her faint and therefore created a false scene of moonrise by lighting a lamp on the hill and asking Veeravati to sot it and conclude her fast.

Due to the breach of the fasting rule, immediately after breaking the fast in advance, the queen heard to news of her husband’s sudden death. As she was wailing and returning to the kingdom, she had the vision of Mother Parvati and Lord Shiva on the way.

When she prayed them to intervene in the issue, forgive and restore her husband back to life, they conceded.

With the blessings of Shiva and Parvati, her husband was restored to life but had fallen seriously ill without any consciousness. His whole body was found pricked with sharp needles.

karva-chauth

With her sustained efforts, the queen managed to remove one needle per day. At the end of the year, only one needle was left. Veeravati left to the market to buy Karwa for the puja.

The maidservant in charge removed the remaining one needle and the king regained his consciousness and got back his health. He mistook the maid for the queen and made the queen his servant.

Veeravati sincerely served the king in the capacity of the maidservant faithfully all through the year. The next Karwa Chauti day arrived and the queen sincerely prepared for the fasting ceremony.

She bots two identical dolls and placed them near the altar. She started singing the song “Roli ki Goli ho gayi… Goli ki Roli ho gayi” meaning that the queen has become the maid and the mad has become the queen. The king asked Veeravati what the song meant.

Veeravati narrated all that happened so far.

The king appreciated the patience and forbearance of the queen in addition to her strong devotion. The dauntless faith Veeravati had in Shiva and Parvati was heavily tested and found to be genuine.

The observance of the Karwa Chauth fasting sincerely despite troubles made her get Gods blessings in abundance. With the blessings of Shiva and Parvati, the king and the queen happily lived with health, wealth, happiness, and prosperity thereafter.

 

 

 

 

 

 

via~ https://www.speakingtree.in