Dharmic knowledge is an untapped resource which could help alleviate many problems of the modern world.
The Landscape – Finding India in the Global Order
The travesty of critical thinking and research of the current times is that eminence trumps evidence. Logic yields to money, heft and brute force. It needs to be understood that the sustainability problems being faced globally today are a result of the larger populace falling out of tune with nature. Fashion triumphs sagacity and in this mad race for universalism, we have forgotten that despite having equal access to our local natural resources, our realities are quite individualistic and more often than not, different.
With the largest population base in an open market, and the largest functioning democracy, India can make that leap and propel into a global leadership position. However, it needs to tap its strengths and address its challenges. Unfortunately though, we are currently focused on solving problems we don’t have and unable to see the problems we do have.
1. The Superfluous Problem
The propaganda around indigenous Vedic festivals, rituals and ceremonies by calling them superstitious obscurantisms has added to the woes. Spirituality drives philosophy, which energizes culture that in turn helps businesses and economy. Love without understanding is infatuation and short-lived. Similarly, culture without philosophy is insanity. The resulting businesses and economy are then unsustainable.
It has been a commonly promulgated myth that the Vedic scriptures are largely a dogma and belief system. Nothing could be more deceitful. The Vedic system is one of most scientific and holistic systems known to mankind. The accuracy of planetary movements for one is based on the mathematical calculations as we do now. The Moon’s synodical revolution according to Surya Siddhanta is 29.530587946 days. The period given by modern astronomy differs by 7/100ths of a second.1
2. Modern Science – Every fact is eventually a feeling
It needs to be comprehended that all the scientific discoveries started out with a hunch, a feeling or a revelation. From Kekulé seeing a snake in his dream to revelation of the changing polarity of the Benzene ring to Socrates, Galileo, Maxwell, Planck, Lister, Roentgen, and the list goes on. If one were to dispute the very first revelation, the subsequent statistical proofs would be pointless. But that’s not the case.2
3. Philosophy and the Key to understanding the Vedic scriptures – Swastik, Sanskrit & Jyotish
The Vedic scriptures are deeply scientific and philosophical texts. Not linear history books. Consequently, the way to study, understand and interpret the Vedic scriptures is distinctive too. We need to first understand the philosophy of the Swastik, then Sanskrit as the scientific language & finally Jyotish as the key to unlocking some of the deepest mysteries in the Vedic scriptures. It is useful to know ‘Chaar avasthaon ki trigunatmak prakriti’ as per the Swastik – Four states of nature powered by the three gunas (rajo, tamo, sato).
The above principle starts from learning and understanding Sanskritwhose Varna mala is trigunatmak to understanding the Vedas, Puranas, Upanishads, Jyotish etc.
[Varna Bheda – Jaimini Maharishi’s Updaesa Sutra – Pt. Sanjay Rath]
There was an article recently, in several leading newspapers, which spoke about how scientists had traced the origins of the Swastik back to almost 11000 years. This article led one to question if anyone even knows what the symbol means? Why THAT particular symbol and why the stigma associated with it? It’s omnipresent in South Asian nations and is practically known in every part of the world. In India the Swastik symbol is ubiquitous. Look around; on cars, homes, temples, shops, building, cows, buffaloes, camels, tattooed on people and innumerable more places. Almost everyone thinks that Hitler took the symbol, inverted it, tilted it and then used it as an Aryan supremacist symbol. No. It’s the same symbol. Nazis just tilted it and colour-coded it. Rest is history.
3.2.1 Despite invaders, the backbone remains unbroken
Despite the 800 odd years rule by foreign invaders, the culture that has defined the Indian subcontinent is the rich Vedic cultureand it continues to be without much bolstering. The ancient sciences of Jyotish to Ayurveda, are the rare esoteric gems that have kept the resilience of the society till date. The Vedic societies are quadri-polar as opposed to a bipolar society, like in the US. Ever conjectured why even though India is a seemingly conservative society now, the Kamasutra was written in India here as well! One can fathom this when one understands the real philosophy behind the Swastik.
3.2.2 Swastik Twisted to Meet Selfish Needs
The Swastik word itself translates to Su-Asti, meaning well-being. Most of the words when translated in any other language, especially from Sanskrit lose their meaning as they are meant only for two dimensional space. One of the keys in the Vedas and Dhyan is the ability to explain and go to a fourth state, or the Chaturiya (Fourth) avastha (state). The fourth state is also known as the Turiya avastha. The fourth state is beyond waking, sleeping and dreaming. The symbol of the Swastik is that of a four-dimensional cube, and is extensively used in Vedic mathematics.
How, why and what are deeper subjects that one can’t just read about and understand. Unlike reading and learning other subjects, this is a subject of experiential learning.
As a society, we are very advanced in technology, today. A few centuries ago, people were adept at physical contact warfare. Similarly in the Vedic era, people were adept at the metaphysical. Being Arya was synonymous with that. A lot of unrest that we see across the world today, leading to personal anxiety and unhappiness, is a result of lack of our own understanding. More than love and compassion, the world needs understanding of how people evolve. How races are real, religions manufactured. Climes are real, countries manufactured. The more we delve into the wisdom of the Swastik, the better we become as a collective, and happier as individuals.3
[The Internal Swastik – Lost Wisdom of The Swastika – Ajay Chaturvedi]
[The Cosmic Swastik – Sapta Rishi Mandal (The Big Dipper) around Dhruv Tara (Pole Star)]
Jyotish is a Vedanga and is also the key to understanding the scriptures like Ramayana andMahabharata. The basic concept of Jyotish that leads us to understand the naming of the weekdays is explained in section 5 below, which is still being followed even today.
“A physician without a knowledge of Astrology has no right to call himself a physician.”
“There is no better boat than a horoscope to help a man cross over the sea of life.”
4. Understanding the Historical Perspective
Though it is not beneficial at this juncture to point fingers – especially in a global conference – however it is important for didacticism on why we need to revive the above-mentioned symbols and sciences.
Incidentally, all the above three viz. Sanskrit, Swastik and Jyotishwere demonized by the British and now some scholars with malefic agenda clubbed with lack of knowledge continue to do so and proliferate it further. While the Romans and Greeks who invaded first, took the knowledge without realizing the wisdom, it took the roman civilization over 15 centuries to imbibe this wisdom and adapt it in parts, in the culture.
The British starting from the 19th century demonized it for the public to take control of the masses. Thomas Babington Macaulay was one of the main drivers behind this. In his view, Macaulay divided the world into civilized nations and barbarism, with Britain representing the high point of civilization. This is a debate in itself. Who is civilized? One who washes after excreting or the one who wipes?4One who eats with hands because it’s healthy or the one who eats with a fork without washing hands? One who adapts to nature and builds around it or the one who is headstrong and builds straight lines and structures with no adherence to nature? Definitions.
Incidentally doctors and scientists have finally come around to claiming that it is better to wash after excreting and not wipe.
It is important to note, that once the British had succeeded in demonizing the key precepts of the Vedic pedagogy – of which Swastik is the most diminished – it was easy enough to sway the masses on what was perceived to be aspirational. The British statecraft was at its best and continues to be so even now as is reflected in their media. Build a grandiose image and then use that image to spread vicious propaganda. The very first was to impose a language that is aspirational by only teaching the elite and then to impose a calendar that would have to be followed to adhere to businesses that cater to the European economies. India took a hit economically owing to the taxation structures imposed by the British, however the grassroots economic and nature-based systems stayed intact. It was far too cumbersome for the British to even get down to that level or commit their resources. This is around the time of WW II and they had to pull out, with the rising freedom fighters. However, the sinister plan hatched then continued to spread venom in the system and eat it like termite.
In his Minute on Indian Education of February 1835, Macaulay asserted,
“It is, I believe, no exaggeration to say that all the historical information which has been collected from all the books written in the Sanskrit language is less valuable than what may be found in the most paltry abridgement used at preparatory schools in England”.
And yet, the Vedas had more erudite information thousands of years before Britain even begun to cursorily understand it in the 19thcentury. Akin to a class one kid dismissing Differential Calculus as gibberish. The British need to be credited for being the masters of statecraft and deceit. Unlike the Mughals, who were barbaric, the British were barbaric yet smooth. They set systems in place, even if static, to continue to drain the wealth from India for decades to come.
What’s mindboggling is that they colluded with the elite and the wise at that time to understand the wisdom even if they didn’t completely grasp it. Hitler might have appropriated the Swastik but the British took it and turned it to their advantage. Diabolized it for the rest of the world, and alienated the Vedic culture. The understanding of Aantrik, Mantrik, Tantrik & Yantrik stages of evolution that correspond to the evolution of races, and inherent to the Swastik was taken and turned to their benefit. The black ravens that are kept captive in the Tower of London are a Mantrik ritual, also known as Pitradan. On confirming this with several Pagan Masters (Ref: Reverend Anujj Elviis – a former Christian priest), one can conclude that the Pitramokshi Amavasya that the Hindu’s observe before Diwali a precedent for the Halloween festival observed on Oct 31st by the Roman calendar. It is believed that the feeding of black ravens is critical for the kingdom and the crown. For someone who understands the stages of evolution as explained in ‘Lost Wisdom of The Swastika’, it becomes crystal clear.
It is worth noting that Vedic texts describe every concept, idea and theory from multiple perspectives. There is no limitation on the interpretations yet the eventual understanding becomes very personal. Vedic literature never pushes an idea to be taken as the final authority. The education in a Gurukul began with Pranayam – Pran ka ayam – exercising the breath (knowledge of the breath), followed by spatial knowledge. The fourth dimension was spoken about and experienced in Turiya Avastha right in the beginning. The students didn’t have to wait until graduation to learn about the higher dimensions.
Next came the perspectives, Karta, Drushta & Sakshi (Doer, Observer & Witness). In Dhyanavastha (meditative state) these would be the same person. In the physical world, these would be different people. The Vedic system accounts for both while the western system accounts only for the latter or the physical world. That is why Astrology and Astronomy can both co-exist and flourish in the Vedic system.
Astronomy was as well developed as was Jyotish (a lesser yet the closest subject is Astrology). The Rig Ved describes the heliocentric model and the Atharva Ved describes the elliptical zodiac. While the weekdays are named after the Grahas and the order is astrological. The weekdays continue to be named after the Grahas despite western astronomy.5
[Rig Ved 10.149.1 – Heliocentric model described]
Savita Yantraih Prithiveem Aramnaat Dyaam Andahat Atoorte Baddham Ashwam Iv Adhukshat [Rig Veda 10.149.1]
“The sun has tied Earth and other planets through attraction and moves them around itself as if a trainer moves newly trained horses around itself holding their reins.”
The gravitational effect of solar system makes the earth stable also mentioned in Rig Veda 1-103-2, 1-115-4 and 5-81-2. 6
5. Kaal-aantar – Calendar: Vedic & Roman
5.1 Saurmaas, Chandramaas & Saptah (Solar Calendar, Lunar Calendar and the Weekdays)
Beginning from the Cosmic Swastik, which is formed by the Saptarishi mandal, According to the Vedas, Brahma created Vasishth, who, with his wife Arundhati, had a son named Śakti Maharṣi who sired Rishi Parashar. With his wife Satyavati, Parashar fathered Vyas. Vyās sired Dhritrashtr, Pandu and Vidur through his deceased brother’s wives. Vyās also sired Shuka through his wife, Jābāli’s daughter Pinjalā. Thus Parashar was the great-grandfather of both the warring parties of the Mahābhārata, the Kauravas and the Pandavas. Parashar is used as a gotra for the ancestors and their offsprings thereon.
Rishi Parashar is one among the eighteen sages, whose teachings on Jyotish are in circulation even today. From what are teachings from around 6000 BCE, we have known the weekdays, since then. The concept of weekdays itself comes from Grahas and their speeds around the karta (doer) on Earth. These grahas are a super set of planets and include Sun, Moon, Rahu and Ketu as well. These also use the Varna system that is based on the work taken up by the individual rather than by birth (which was misrepresented as the Caste system by the British and then further used and still being used as vicious propaganda.)
On a cursory look, the above picture from Brihat Parasara Hora Shastra are the Navgrahas that are also found in the Hindu temples. However when scrutinizing vigilantly, the first seven grahas are also the names of the weekdays. The order of these grahas is determined by the speed of the graha around the observer on Earth. Sun, Moon & Earth are also a Trigun at one level. So we do Suryanamaskar to connect with the Sun (Father), Chandranamskar to connect with the Moon (Mother like) and take off our shoes when entering the temple to connect with the Earth (Mother).7
The perversion, misappropriation and malefic slandering of these concepts continue with half-baked, partial knowledge and our youth get the distilled version of this puffery.
5.2 Capricious Roman calendar enforced by brute force – A slave is made to work the Master’s hours, not the other way around
This section is important to understand from a historical perspective on what went wrong. The idea is not to point fingers or deprecate, yet without knowing where we have come from, we really wouldn’t be able to get where we are trying to go.The Roman calendar is the calendar used by the Roman kingdom and republic. It is often inclusive of the Julian calendar established by the reforms of the dictator Julius Caesar and emperor Augustus in the late 1st century bcand sometimes inclusive of any system dated by inclusive counting towards months’ kalends, nones, and ides in the Roman manner. It is usually exclusive of the Alexandrian calendar of Roman Egypt, which continued the unique months of that land’s former calendar; the Byzantine calendar of the later Roman Empire, which usually dated the Roman months in the simple count of the ancient Greek calendars; and the Gregorian calendar, which refined the Julian system to bring it into still closer alignment with the solar year and is the basis of the current international standard. Roman dates were counted inclusively forward to the next of three principal days: the first of the month (the kalends), a day less than the middle of the month (the ides), and eight days—nine, counting inclusively—before this (the nones). The original calendar consisted of 10 months beginning in spring with March; winter was left as an unassigned span of days. These months ran for 38 nundinal cycles, each forming a kind of eight (i.e., “nine”) day week ended by religious rituals and a public market. The winter period was then used to create January and February. The legendary early kings Romulus and Numa were traditionally credited with establishing this early fixed calendar, which bears traces of its origin as an observational lunar one. In particular, the kalends, nones, and ides seem to have derived from the first sighting of the crescent moon, the first-quarter moon, and the full moon respectively. The system ran well short of the solar year, and it needed constant intercalation to keep religious festivals and other activities in their proper seasons. For superstitious reasons, such intercalation occurred within the month of February even after it was no longer considered the last month. After the establishment of the Roman Republic, years began to be dated by consulships and control over intercalation was granted to the pontifices, who eventually abused their power by lengthening years controlled by their political allies and shortening the years in their rivals’ terms of office. Having won his war with Pompey, Caesarused his position as Rome’s chief pontiff to enact a calendar reform in 46 bc, coincidentally making the year of his third consulship last for 446 days. In order to avoid interfering with Rome’s religious ceremonies, the reform added all its days towards the ends of months and did not adjust any nones or ides, even in months which came to have 31 days. The Julian calendar was supposed to have a single leap day on 24 February (a doubled VI Kal.Mart.) every fourth year but following Caesar’s assassination the priests figured this using inclusive counting and mistakenly added the bissextile day every three years. In order to bring the calendar back to its proper place, Augustus was obliged to suspend intercalation for a few decades. The revised calendar remaining slightly longer than the solar year, the date of Easter shifted far enough away from the vernal equinox that Pope Gregory XIII ordered its adjustment in the 16th century. Legendary 10-month calendar The Romans themselves described their first organized year as one with ten fixed months, each of 30 or 31 days. Such a decimal division fit general Roman practice. The four 31-day months were called “full” (pleni) and the others “hollow” (cavi). Its 304 days made up exactly 38 nundinal cycles. The system is usually said to have left the remaining 50-odd days of the year as an unorganized “winter”, although Licinius Macer’s lost history apparently stated the earliest Roman calendar employed intercalation instead and Macrobius claims the 10-month calendar was allowed to shift until the summer and winter months were completely misplaced, at which time additional days belonging to no month were simply inserted into the calendar until it seemed things were restored to their proper place.8
Little effort has been invested in the research of the Roman calendar, however it should suffice to say that the discussions around 46 BCE were still quite ingenuous compared to the advanced knowledge already present in the Vedas. The credit however needs to be given to the Romans and subsequently to the British in using the calendar and timelines to control the masses with least effort and resources. That calendar is essentially what we are still following.
6. A new beginning from the ancient times
If Christmas is celebrated on Dec 25th as the birth of Christ then what is the New Year and concept of (BCE & CE) before and after Christ mean? These and more questions are good to contemplate on but beyond the scope of this paper.
A friend of mine called me on March 20th last year and insisted that I drink a lot of water, as it was the Equinox. So much concern and diligence over what she had been conditioned to believe to be a scientific fact. One can’t reason with conditioned minds however for any logical person, it should make sense that no two points on Earth can be perpendicular to the Sun at the same time, since the Earth is a sphere. As a result, the day when day and night are equal in India is about 26 days before Greenwich and it is celebrated as Mahashivaratri. It is Chaturdashi or the 14th day of Phalgun (roughly February of the Gregorian calendar). Again, the local panchang will have the specific times and days for every city. But meditating while sitting erect on this day and night while fasting is beneficial for the person.
India needs to rise to the occasion, dawn the mantle and popularize the calendar, or at least start educating the youth with knowledge that is relevant for them, here. Vikram Samvat is a start.
But before we start on Vikram Samvat, it is important to understand the philosophy of the Swastik and especially how it applies to us as a society, country and the world. The four states exist in all beings that die. Aantrik, Mantrik, Tantrik and Yantrik. The four races viz. White, Yellow, Brown & Black each go through these stages, separately. In the current Yuga, we, the brown race is in the Antrik and Mantrik phases while the white race is in Yantrik and Antrik stages. The yellow race is in Tantrik and Yantrik while the Black race is in Mantrik and Tantrik stages. The cycle is continuous. The rest of the world sees us as a faith based spiritual nation and we need to capitalize on that, tap into our deep philosophies and wisdom. The white race is threatened by the yellow race and the yellow race by brown race. Each needs to capitalize on its own strengths in the respective phases. For that India needs to embrace the philosophy of the Swastik and Jyotish with gusto. We can become the best at only who we are. It is interesting to note that the biggest Hollywood blockbusters are made on the philosophy of the Swastik without naming it. Besides the Kekulé experiment above, a movie like Interstellar explains the fourth dimension via the symbolism of a tesseract however leaves the viewer bewildered. It’s the same as explaining someone the taste of water without letting one taste it. The fourth dimension can be experienced in Turiya awastha which is also the Arya avastha. The symbol is the Swastik.
The idea is not to eradicate the existing system rather to augment it by bringing in the indigenous knowledge back to the fore, especially for the youth. Kautilya Fellowship (www.kfn.org.in) can then follow. Subjects like Kullhad Economy will only endow the youth to be better prepared for the globalized world of tomorrow. This will not only boost the state and social order but also sprout newer avenues of entrepreneurship and innovation.
- Engage, educated, excite and make the youth curious of the much advanced vedic sciences and culture. The time is ripe and it is now.
- Make learning of Pranayam mandatory in every school. Beginning with the primary schools.
- Sanskrit and philosophy of the Swastik. Overview of Jyotish. Without the first two, reading the Vedas is no different from a computer programmer turning on a computer and then doing its aarti vandana, closing it and going home and then wondering why the computer doesn’t give any results.
- Vikram Samvat and knowledge of the Saurmaas and Chandramaas at the primary school level. Application oriented immersion would be desirable.
- Linkages with the local economies. Such as why is Mangalwar a holiday, why do we take our shoes off when entering a temple or what is the correlation between donations (chadhawa) and the low life insurance penetration.
This paper was presented at the 4th annual “Dharma-Dhamma” conference in Nalanda university held between 11th to 13thJanuary, 2018 in Patna.
References / Footnotes
1. Astrology & The Hoax of Scientific Temper – Gayatri Devi Vasudev
3. Lost Wisdom of The Swastika – Ajay Chaturvedi &https://www.huffingtonpost.com/ajay-chaturvedi/actually-the-history-of-t_b_11101108.html
There is a separate study that it is better to squat while excreting and not sit like on a commode. (Ref: https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2012/09/20/161501413/for-best-toilet-health-squat-or-sit)
7. Brihat Parasara Hora Sastra – Girish Chand Sharma