Literally the term YAJNA denotes sacrifice. In Physical terms, Yajna is a process aimed at the refinement of the subtle energy existing in matter with the help of sound and thermal energy of Mantras (Vedic hymes). Generally Yajna are of two types as explained in revealed Scriptures, namely AGNIHOTRA or HAVAN and Next NAMA SANKIRTANAM yajna (also called a Yuga Dharma for this age), which is prescribed to be followed by all human beings in this age. In this Article we will be revealing the hidden science of Agnihotra or Havana generally understood as Yajnam. The knowledge of philosophy and science of yajna is essential for understanding and experimenting the science of spirituality as knowledge of elementary physics as for material science.
The fumigation of specific substances in the yajna: Fire is scientific method of subtulisation of matter into energy and expanding its potential and positive effects in the sorrounding atmosphere. The electromagnitic waves generated thereby help in trinsmiting, at the cosmic level, the desired sonic signals of mantras, which are chanted during the process of sacrificing the special materials called Charu in the fire.Basically performing yajna the two energies, heat from yajna fire and sound from mantras like gayatri, suktas, stotatras etc (Basic energy systems in physical world: Heat energy and Sound energy) are combined to achieve the desired physical, psychological and Spiritual benefits.
There are innumerable environmental, physical, mental and spiritual benefits are there in yajna, which cannot be discussed all in this small article where as some scientific facts present in the yajna are beyond our describing and conceiving capacity. Since today is World Enviroment Day, So here remaining within the topic we have tried to explain and explore some general biological-enviromental aspects of yajna which are infact the neglegable besides its real spiritual effects:
Bhagavad Gita 3.14 says
annäd bhavanti bhütäni parjanyäd anna-sambhavaù
yajïäd bhavati parjanyoyajïaù karma-samudbhavaù
All living bodies subsist on food grains, which are produced from rains. Rains are produced by performance of yajïa [sacrifice], and yajïa is born of prescribed duties.
Similarly, The hymns (Mantra) nos. 1 to 29 in chapter 18 of the Yajur Veda describe Yajna as the basis of good agriculture, physical, mental and spiritual and intellectual progress, prosperity in the botanical kingdom of the earth, prosperity in food and cereals produce, good health and pure environment through removal of pollution.
The industrial wastes, rapid urbanization, deforestation, air and water pollution, disturbances in the ozone layer, radioactive waves etc have destabilized the human, animal and plant cycle (eco cycle). The ecological imbalance caused by these acts of so-called civilized beings has resulted into disastrous threat not only to living being but to whole on our planet. Till today it's being accepted of making compelled to accept that research into modern physical science can furnish answer to all humans problem, but instead we are finding increasing number of diseases including malfunctioning of body organs due to increasing severity of pollution in the atmosphere. Aliments like sunburn, skin cancer, cataracts and weakening of immune system are common due to Ozone depletion. An experimental study shows that the incidence of physical ailments, sickness and disease are reduced in the houses where the yajna is regularly performed because it creates a pure, nutritional and medicinal atmosphere. It renews brain cell, revitalizes the skin, purifies blood and prevents growth of pathogenic organisms.
"Heal the atmosphere and the healed atmosphere will heal you", actually yajna is the healing process. The antiseptic and antibiotic effects of the smoke of Yajna have also been examined by conducting laboratory experiments on rabbits and mice and it has been established that smoke emitted in Yajna is a powerful antibiotic. Agnihotra ash is also found to purify and cleanse the water, making it fit for drinking. There are non-bacterial parasites like flies, ringworm, dice fleas etc., which are normally difficult to deal with since bactericides which can be used against them are also harmful to other living organisms. Such insects are generally immune to ordinary reagents. However they either get killed or are driven away when they come in contact with volatile oils like camphor, which are diffused in the environment during the performance of Yajna.
The surroundings and the smell of a Yajna can be smelt even at a huge distance. In addition to steam, smoke is also given out in plentiful quantities and solid particles existing in a highly divided state offer adequate surface for mechanical diffusion. Thus smoke also functions as a medium for circulation of aromatic substances depending on temperature and direction of the wind. This aromatic and disinfection of air is not only useful to animal life but it also helps plant life. The aromatic substances, which get diffused in the air through Agnihotra offer protection to plant life against harmful organisms. This ensures a healthy plant growth. Agnihotra’s atmosphere and ash can be used as adjuvants in the natural farming methods – also known as the agnihotra farming methods. It is a holistic concept of growing plants in pure and healthy atmosphere and balancing the ecological cycles by performing Yajna in the middle of the farm and using the Yajna-ash as a fertilizer. Several experiments have been conducted in the East European countries on the use of Yajna ash in soil treatment. These, too, have shown positive effects and potential applications in Agriculture.
The oxidation of hydrocarbons also produces formic acid and acetic acid both of which are good disinfectants. Use of formic acid for preservation of fruits and that of acetic acid in preserving vinegar is a common practice. The antiseptic and antibiotic effects of fumes of Yajna have also been examined by conducting suitable experiments and it has been established that fumes emitted in Yajna are powerful antibiotic.
Under products of combustion, the partial oxidation of hydrocarbons and decomposition of complex organic substances produce formaldehyde, which is a powerful antiseptic. It is also interesting to note that the germicidal action of formaldehyde is effective only in the presence of water vapor, which is also produced in large quantities in Yajna. The use of formaldehyde sprays for disinfecting of walls, ceilings etc., is common and such an effect is automatically produced when Yajna is performed. The observation of some distinguished scientists is note worthy in this regard:
Dr. Hafkine mentions: "Mixing ghee and sugar and burning them creates smoke which kills the germ of certain diseases and secretion takes place from some glands relate to wind pipe, which fill our heart and mind with pleasure.
Substances present in charu have great power to purify the atmosphere. It kills the germs of TB, measles, smallpox, cowpox. Remarks Dr. Tilward.
Dr. Shirowich, a Russian Scientist claims: 1. Cow's milk contains great power of protection from atomic radiation, 2. Houses with cow dung covered floor enjoys complete protection against atomic radiation, 3. If cows ghee is put into Yajna fire, Its fumes lessen the effects of atomic radiation to a great extent.
It had been explained in ayurVeda as well as medically also verified that the atmosphere surrounding the place where a Yajna is being performed and the ash produced in the Yajna kunda has been found useful in healing nervous systems disorders, asthma, heart diseases, lung infection, a wide verity of skin diseases, and eye, ears related disorders. Analysis of ash of yajna has indicated that it contains certain ingredients which soothe, pacify and tranquillize the mind.
The tempreature attained in the kunda varies between 250degree to 600degree, while in actual flame it might goes up to 1300 degree Celsius. The boiling points of volatile constituents get diffused over in surrounding atmosphere. Also when cellulose and other carbohydrates undergo combustion, steam is formed in copious quantities by the combination of hydrogen of organic substances with the oxygen.
Under steam volatilization, the various volatile oils get diffused in the surrounding atmosphere along with steam and smoke. Since these oils have distinctly good smells, the foul odors are automatically neutralized. This aroma can be effortlessly smelt in the surroundings when Yajna is performed. It is due to the diffusion of substances like thynol, eugenol, piene, terpinol and oils of sandalwood, camphor and clove.
Ghee helps in rapid combustion of cellulose of wood and keeps the fire alight. When all the volatile substances are diffused in the surrounding atmosphere, these are further subjected to photochemical reactions in the sunlight. These changes occur in the ultra-violet and other short wavelength regions. The products of fumigation thus go to photochemical decomposition, oxidation and reduction. To some extent even co2 is also reduced to formaldehyde as follows:
CO2 + H2O + 112,000 cal = HCHO + O2
From an environmental angle, the reduction of CO2 caused by Yajna as explained above and the liberation of oxygen cannot be overemphasized. Similar kinds of other useful reactions take place in the presence of specific radiations from the sunrays. This may be perhaps the reason it has been recommended that Yajna should be performed during sunlight.
The wood and fossil burning in atmosphere is always controversial because of the generation of carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide and a consequent increase in the ‘green house’ effect. On this basis it can be argued that Yajna also produces CO and CO2. It should be noted here that the way in which the samidhás are burnt in Yajna is a process of slow combustion. It is not comparable to the burning of coal in the factories or household fire or running of steam engines etc, where oxygen is sucked in large quantities and CO2 is emitted likewise. In the slow combustion process that takes place in Yajna, a small quantity of O2 is utilized and CO2 is emitted in a quantity that poses no threat to the environment. In fact whatever CO2 is generated is readily absorbed by the surrounding plant life and vegetation and thus the CO2 cycle is strengthened.
Another important fact to be noted is that CO2 produced in Yajna is not free CO2. It is mixed with the vapors of other aromatic oils and antiseptic products. It acts as a vehicle in transporting such products to the surroundings. The use of CO2 as a cerebral stimulant to assist patients suffering from lack of ventilation is a common practice in the medical field. Its use in controlling and curing many mental disorders is also known to medical science. Small amounts of CO2 inhaled by the persons performing Yajna act as a stimulant for inhaling more and more aromatic fumes which helps in curing mental disorders.
The power of sound vibrations is long since acknowledged in the field of science. These vibrations can penetrate the energy spheres at the subtle and cosmic levels. All the alphabets of the Sanskrit language are endowed with special vibrational powers, which set out harmonious wave patterns when pronounced. It is interesting to note that an American Scientist Dr. Howard Steingull has established that recitation of Gayatri Mantra produces 110,000 sound waves per second.
The heat and sound endowed in Yajna is a source of immense energy. As this fire inflames, melts or sublimates all the gross substances inside, we too should burn out all our vices, ill-tendencies, lethargy, dullness and despair and energize our personality with the warmth of new zeal, alacrity, awareness and hope. The heat and energy of the Yajna should be reflected in the active flow of our blood, our industriousness and our nimble and vigilant courage to fight against six enemies inside us and lead oneself above all this material platform to the higher consciousness. However in physical laboratory, it is not possible to demonstrate the spiritual fascinating achievements of mantra and yajna because these things are to be realized by oneself but still neurophysiological effects of mantra in yajna can be tested in lab and had been studied by different scientist which are ranked unique achivement of the modern age.
Dr. Slevamurthy in his study has observed neurophysiological effects of the mantra. In his experimental study, 8 healthy men were chosen as subjects. They use to report at 4 pm on two consecutive days. Both days Yajna were performed but first day instead of prescribed mantra, some irrelevant syllables were uttered at specific time periods and second day yajna was performed with proper mantras. Both days recording of physiological parameters viz. Heart rate, ECG, EEG, GSR, BP were made.
Yajna, significant changes occured after the proper Yajna. These included 1. GSR remained significantly higher due to proper yajna. 2. ECG showed shift in base line. 3. EEG showed alpha enhancement and delta suppression for more than 15 minutes.
Now the science of medicine has begun to recognize the role of psychology in prevention and cure of malady. As the atmosphere, prana(Vital energy) and mind are interlinked, the individuals automatecially experience relaxation, peace, unburdening of mind, loss of worries and stress in the yajna atmosphere. The increase in level of Prana in Yajna atmosphere was recorded with the help of Kirlian photographs of human hands in the experiment conducted by Dr. Matthias Ferbinger of Germany.
As we have already mentioned in beginning the above stated facts and effects are infact neglegable besides yajna’s real spiritual effects. Research and also discourse and workshops on all these aspects of yajna are being conducted in different places of the world as well as in the labotory of Jagannath Foundation-SRPV in Nepal also. It might well lead to the development of a scientifically established yajnapathy which may not only be honoured but will be established as a boon for modern society and Humanity from the Vedic Scriptures and its followers.
(Extracted from talk delivered by author on World Enviroment Day 2013, published on review Nepal)
By definition, Surgery in medical science is a treatment tactic of a physical intervention on tissues. As a general rule, a course of action is considered surgical when it involves cutting of a patient's tissues or closure of a previously sustained wound. Other procedures that do not necessarily fall under this rubric, such as angioplasty or endoscopy, may be considered surgery if they involve "common" surgical procedure or settings, such as use of a sterile, anesthesia, antiseptic conditions, typical surgical instruments, and suturing or stapling. All forms of surgery are considered invasive procedures; so-called "noninvasive surgery" usually refers to an excision that does not penetrate the structure being excised (e.g. laser ablation of the cornea) or to a radio surgical procedure (e.g. irradiation of a tumor).
The discipline of modern surgery commonly practiced today was put on a sound, scientific foo
ting during (1715–89), by An important figure generally honored as the father of modern surgery, Scottish surgical scientist (in London) John Hunter (1728–1793). He brought an empirical and experimental approach to the science and was renowned around Europe for the quality of his research and his written works. Hunter reconstructed surgical knowledge from scratch; refusing to rely on the testimonies of others he conducted his own surgical experiments to determine the truth of the matter. Moreover the practice of effective and practical anesthetic chemicals for pain control such as ether, first used by the American surgeon Crawford Long (1815–1878), and chloroform, discovered by James Young Simpson (1811–1870) and later pioneered in England by John Snow (1813–1858), physician to Queen Victoria, who in 1853 administered chloroform to her during childbirth, and in 1854 disproved the miasma theory of contagion by tracing a cholera outbreak in London to an infected water pump through anesthesia etc. were discovered and set into practice in the Beginning in the 1840s on modern surgery, Before the advent of anesthesia, surgery was a traumatically painful procedure and surgeons were encouraged to be as swift as possible to minimize patient suffering.
After the introduction of anesthetics encouraged more surgery, which inadvertently caused more dangerous patient post-operative infections. The concept of infection was unknown until relatively modern times. The first progress in combating infection was made in 1847 by the Hungarian doctor Ignaz Semmelweis who noticed that medical students fresh from the dissecting room were causing excess maternal death compared to midwives. Semmelweis, despite ridicule and opposition, introduced compulsory hand washing for everyone entering the maternal wards and was rewarded with a plunge in maternal and fetal deaths, however that time the Royal Society dismissed his advice.
From the above study of history of the modern surgery we can see that the proper and scientific tactic of surgical treatment was introduces on 18th century and the idea of anesthesia and Antiseptic surgery was introduced on late 19th century in medical science of today's practice. But to our amazement vedic scriptures and its admirer were successfully practicing hundreds of varieties of antiseptic surgery. This need not come as a surprise because surgery (Shastrakarma) is one of the eight branches of AyurVeda the ancient Vedic system of medicine.
The atharva Veda gave birth to Ayur Veda, the traditional system medicine. The west is fond of proclaiming themselves as the father of medicine, but thousands of years before him Maharishi Charaka wrote the famous Charaka Samhita or Physicians’ Handbook based on atharva Veda. The Charaka Samhita went into great detail to describe human anatomy, pathology, diagnostic procedures, and treatment for various diseases. Charaka defined eight major medical disciplines of Ayur Veda: Shailya Chikitsa (surgery), Shaalakya Chikitsa (head, eye, nose, throat), Kaaya Chikitsa(mental health), Kaumarbhrutya Chikitsa (pediatrics), Agada antra (toxicology), Rasaayana Tantra (Pharmacology), Vaajeekarna Tantra (reproductive medicine). Charaka also described the functions of the heart and the circulatory system in great detail which latter was translated to many other languages. Furthermore Sushruta samhita complied by sushuruta based on Atriya samhita and atharva Veda classified surgery into eight types: aaharya (extracting solid bodies), bhedya (excision), eshya (probing), lekhya (sarification), vedhya (puncturing), visravya (extracting fluids), and sivya (suturing). Sushruta worked with 125 kinds of surgical instruments including scalpels, lancets, needles, catheters, etc. Sushruta even devised non-invasive surgical treatments with the aid of light rays and heat. He conducted 300 types of operations such as extracting solid bodies, excision, incision, probing, puncturing, evacuating fluids and suturing. Ancient Indians were also the first to perform amputations, caesarean and carnal surgeries. It also mentioned about use of cheek skin to perform plastic surgery to restore and reshape human nose, ears, and lips with incredible results. To obtain proficiency and acquiring skill and speed in these different types of surgical manipulations, Sushruta had devised various experimental modules for trying each procedure. For example, incision and excision are to be practiced on vegetables and leather bags filled with mud of different densities; scraping on hairy skin of animals; puncturing on the vein of dead animals and lotus stalks; probing on moth-eaten wood or bamboo; scarification on wooden planks smeared with beeswax, etc. On the subject of trauma, Sushruta speaks of six varieties of accidental injuries encompassing almost all parts of the body.
Usage of anesthesia was well known in ancient medicine. Its practitioners used acupuncture (the insertion of thin, solid needles into specific locations on the body) and the smoke of Indian hemp (a tough fiber obtained from the stems of a tall plant), henbane (a plant) and wine as well as hemp, sponge soaked in a dissolved solution of opium, mandragora, hemlock juice, and other substances. The sponge was then dried and stored. Just before surgery it would be moistened and held over the patient's nose. The fumes rendered the patient unconscious, cannabis vapor, aconitum, carotid compression etc. to dull a person's awareness of pain.
Detailed knowledge of anatomy, embryology, digestion, metabolism, physiology, etiology, genetics and immunity is also found in many ancient vedic texts. Anatomy and empirical studies was mentioned by sushruta in his book sushruta samhita as follows: The different parts or members of the body as mentioned before including the skin, cannot be correctly described by one who is not well versed in anatomy. Hence, any one desirous of acquiring a thorough knowledge of anatomy should prepare a dead body and carefully, observe, by dissecting it, and examine its different parts. —Sushruta Samhita, Book 3, Chapter V
Cataract surgery was Practised by susrutha with a special tool called the Jabamukhi Salaka, a curved needle used to loosen the lens and push the cataract out of the field of vision. The eye would later be soaked with warm butter and then bandaged. Though this method was successful, Susruta cautioned that cataract surgery should only be performed when absolutely necessary. Greek philosophers and scientists traveled toVeda where these surgeries were performed by physicians. Removal of cataract by surgery process was also introduced into China fromVeda in later years.
Sushruta Samhita is considered as one of the most brilliant gems inVedic medical literature. This treatise contains detailed descriptions of teachings and practice of the great ancient surgeon ‘Sushruta‘ which has considerable surgical knowledge of relevance even today. Sushruta has pointed out that hemorrhage can be arrested by apposition of the cut edges with stitches, application of styptic decoctions, by cauterization with chemicals or heat. That the progress of surgery and its development is closely associated with the great wars of the past is well known. The vrana or injury, says Sushruta, involves breakdown of body-components and may have one or more of the following seats for occurrence, viz., skin, flesh, blood-vessels, sinews, bones, and joints, internal organs of chest and abdomen and vital structures. Classically vrana, the wound, is the ultimate explosion of the underlying pathological structure. It is, in Sushruta’s words, the sixth stage of a continuous process, which starts with sotha (inflammation). Sushruta says that in the first stage, the ulcer is unclean and hence called a dusta-vrana. By proper management it becomes a clean wound, a suddha-vrana. Then there is an attempt at healing and is called ruhyamana-vrana and when the ulcer is completely healed, it is a rudha-vrana. Sushruta has advocated the use of wine with incense of cannabis for anaesthesia. Although the use of henbane and of Sammohini and Sanjivani are reported at a later period, Sushruta was the pioneer of anesthesia.
Sushruta also gives classification of the bones and their reaction to injuries. Varieties of dislocation of joints (sandhimukta) and fractures of the shaft (kanda-bhagna) are given systematically. He classifies and gives the details of the six types of dislocations and twelve varieties of fractures. He gives the principles of fracture treatment, viz., traction, manipulation, appositions and stabilisation. Sushruta has described the entire orthopaedic surgery, including some measures of rehabilitation, in his work.
As war was a major cause of injury, the name Salya-tantra for this branch of medical learning is derived from Salya, the arrow of the enemy, which in fights used to be lodged in the body of the soldiers. He emphasises that removal of foreign bodies is fraught with certain complications if the seat of the Salya be a marma.
Sushruta also discusses certain surgical conditions of ano-rectal region; he has given all the methods of management of both hemorrhoids and fistulae. Different types of incision to remove the fistulous tract as langalaka, ardhalangalaka, sarvabhadra, candraadha (curved) and kharjurapatraka (serrated) are described for adoption according to the type of fistula.
Sushruta also did rhinoplasty with a unique understanding of the circulation system as well as used cheek skin to perform plastic surgery to restore and reshape human nose, ears, and lips with incredible results. Afterwards In 1969 German surgeons operated accordingly as mentioned in sushrut samhita about rhinoplastiy with good results. Since then all the surgeons are using the same technique thinking that it is a German technique. Thus our own seeds of knowledge are neglected.
Surgery is far more advanced in the Rig Veda , it is recorded that Queen Vishpala was fitted with an artificial lower limb when it was severed in a battle.(Rg.1-116-15), and was made fit, again, to fight in a battle. Modern surgeons do fit an artificial limb; but a patient takes about a year to walk with it, and he cannot take part in a battle again. But vedic concept was far more advanced which yet to be met my modern medical science.
There is also a surgical concept of transplant operations in the RigVeda. Sage named Daddhici's head was removed from his body and in its place implanted a head of a horse for a while.(Rg.1-116-12). Latter when Indra chopped Dadhici's head his human head was replaced it again removing the horse’s head. The sage became normal. Because of this incident he was also named Aswashira. Next Incident we can see thag lord ganesha's Head was chopped by lord shiva and latter transplanted elephants head on ganesha's body. Something similar incident is mentioned in Srimad Bhagavata Mahapuranam 4th canto 7th chapter about Dakshya Prajapati. He was slained by Birabhadra and latter transplanted goats head and given life. One may laugh at this statement because at present no such operation on head or brain is possible. But is it really impossible? At present, heart can be transplanted. During an operation on heart, it is totally stopped by freezing and with the help of Heart-lung machine circulation is maintained and after correcting the defect in the heart it is connected to the circulation, removing the heart-lung machine. In the same way, was not it possible to implant a horse’s head in place of human head to maintain the give and take of sensory and motor impulses and to continue the vital functions, which are similar in man and horse? Serum of horse is tolerated by humans, then nervous tissue may also be tolerated. We have to experiment on this technique. In recent year we can see Charles Claude Guthrie succeeded in grafting one dog's head onto the side of another's neck on 21 May 1908. Vladimir Demikhov experimented with dog head transplantation in the Soviet Union in the 1950s. His transplant subjects typically died due to immune reactions. In 1959, China claimed that they had succeeded in transplanting the head of one dog to the body of another twice. On March 14, 1970, a group of scientists from Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine in Cleveland, Ohio, led by Robert J. White, a neurosurgeon and a professor of neurological surgery who was inspired by the work of Vladimir Demikhov, performed a highly controversial operation to transplant the head of one monkey onto another's body. The procedure was a success to some extent, with the animal being able to smell, taste, hear, and see the world around it. The operation involved cauterizing arteries and veins carefully while the head was being severed to prevent hypovolemia. Because the nerves were left entirely intact, connecting the brain to a blood supply kept it chemically alive. The animal survived for some time after the operation, even at times attempting to bite some of the staff. In 2001, Dr. White successfully repeated the operation on a monkey. In 2002, other head transplants were also conducted in Japan in rats. Unlike the head transplants performed by Dr. White, however, these head transplants involved grafting one rat's head onto the body of another rat that kept its head. Thus, the rat ended up with two heads. The scientists said that the key to successful head transplants was to use low temperatures.
In 2015, Italian neurosurgeon Sergio Canavero has said the procedure (head anastomosis venture) might be feasible – with improved technology and more accurate ability to keep neural tissue perfused – before the end of 2017, which is when he intends to perform the procedure in either the United States or China. A 30-year-old Russian programmer Valery Spiridonov with Werdnig–Hoffmann disease (type I spinal muscular atrophy) and rapidly declining health has volunteered to offer his head for the study
More over A chinise Dr. Xiaoping gained attention in the media months ago after claiming to perform the world’s first monkey head transplant, but the monkey only survived for about 20 hours before it was euthanized for ethical reasons.
At that time, Dr. Xiaoping declined to comment on the potential of human head transplants, but has now told the New York Times that he and his team will conduct the operation “when we are ready.” He says they’re now fine-tuning the operation.
The New York Times reports that, several people have already volunteered themselves as guinea pigs for the head transplant procedure, including 62-year-old Wang Huanming who was paralyzed from the neck down six years ago after wrestling with a friend went wrong. Plus, Dr. Xiaoping isn’t alone in his desire to conduct a head transplant. Last year, Dr. Sergio Canavero claimed he would attempt to carry out the world’s first human head transplant as soon as 2017.
So we can see if world is already heading in these procedures then why we have to laugh on the origin of these concepts, instead if we can do further research on our own seed of knowledge and practice it we can lead the world to proper and absolute direction with the help of vedic scriptures because the word Veda Means the Knowledge and whatever we see today is being known just because of the presence of the light of Knowledge existed in the form vedic scriptures, else everything would be a nightmare.
There is a common misunderstanding in modern world about knowledge, science and spirituality. This misunderstanding originated from some uninformed people, who reither speculate than inquire from authoritive source. Such misconseption had gone so deep in human mind that nowadays everyone believe that vedic scriptures or spirituality is outdated impractical folklore based myth and mere faith of sentimentalist. Such ignorant people are dreaming deep in the burrow of their ignorance and mi
sfortune caused by the lack of real knowledge, and faild to uplift and improve themselves in light of goodness. In addressing this misconceptation we should understand the basic concept of knowledge, levels of knowledge, its classification as per vedic scriptures and its source the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
To start with we should know the concept of Authority and the need of authority.
ämnäya präha tattvaà
The source of truth is the Veda so it should be taken as the topmost authority. (Dasa-mula-tattva by Bhaktivinoda Thakur).
saha-yajïä prajä såñövä puroväca prajäpatiù – When the Supreme Lord created the living entities The Lord created the Vedas the conduct of mankind. These Vedas explain how to perform our daily duties as sacrifice (yajïa). Bhagavad Gita 3.10
As Srila Prabhupada explains the concept of authority in introduction of isopanisad, we can understand or know our father only by the grace of our mother. There is no need of experiment. Similarly if we want to know something beyond our experience, beyond our experimental knowledge, beyond the activities of the senses, then we have to accept the Vedas. There is no question of experimenting, and if we do experiment we come to same conclusion because it has already been experimented. It is already settled. The version of the mother, for instance, has to be accepted as truth. There is no other way.
Jïäna: Theoretical knowledge, Bhagavad Gita 5.16 describes jïäna clearlySince antiquity Vedic literature has elaborately revealed three different levels of Vedic understanding namely jïäna, vijïäna and prajïäna:
jïänena tu tad ajïänaà yeñäà näçitam ätmanaù
teñäm äditya-vaj jïänaà prakäçayati tat param
When, however, one is enlightened with the knowledge by which nescience is destroyed, then his knowledge reveals everything, as the sun lights up everything in the daytime.
Srila Prabhupada mentions in the BhaktiVedanta Purport; "At night we see everything as one in the darkness, but in daytime, when the sun is up, we see everything in its real identity. " The Jïäna removes ignorance. When ignorance is removed, the living entity will not suffer.
sanat-kumäräd bhagavato brahman brahma-vid-uttamät
ä jïänaà sa-vijïänaà räjarñiù käà gatià gataù
The great saintly King, Mahäräja Påthu, received knowledge from Sanat-kumära, who was the greatest Vedic scholar. After receiving knowledge to be applied practically in his life, how did the saintly King attain his desired destination?
vijïänaà yajïaà tanute karmäëi tanute ‘pi ca
taittiriya upanisad 2
vijïäna (practical knowledge) means performing (yajïa) this also involes day to day activities (karma) for the pleasure of supreme Lord sri Hari.
tam eva dhéro vijïäya prajïäà kurvéta brähmaëaù
“An intelligent equipoised person who has realized Brahman must endeavour to know the Supreme Absolute Truth, the Personality of Godhead, and surrender unto Him with loving devotion.”
prajahäti yadä kämän sarvän pärtha mano-gatän
ätmany evätmanä tuñöaù sthita-prajïas tadocyate
The Supreme Personality of Godhead said: O Pärtha, when a man gives up all varieties of desire for sense gratification, which arise from mental concoction, and when his mind, thus purified, finds satisfaction in the self alone, then he is said to be in pure transcendental consciousness (prajïänaà).
And furthermore In Vedic literature source of knowledge has also been classified under six headings (usually these are also referred to as pramanas).
(1) Pratyaksya: It means what we have experienced through our senses. Since our senses are not perfect, the knowledge gained by this source could be tained by inperfection.
(2) Parokshya: Knowledge we have not experienced with our own senses, but have gathered from the experience of others. For example a common man gets some knowledge from scientific invention and discoveries.
(3) Anumana: Inductive knowledge or hypothesis like Darwin t
heory or Bigbang theory etc. For example I see smoke on the hill I infer there is fire because in my experience smoke is the byproduct of fire. So if there is smoke there must be fire.
(4) Aparoksya: Refers to information beyond the material sphere and only percievable through transcendental perception. This also refers to realized knowledge through direct spiritual perception.
A sort of hazy experience, which is indistinct, where the subject and material object come together, and the material object vanishes in the subject. Monists, proponent of impersonalism or followers of Sripad Adi Shankaracharya’s Kevala-Advaita/Māyāvādā-philosophy discuss the gradation of consciousness up to this point.
(5) Adhoksaja: (beyond sense perception) Sripad Rāmānuja Āchārya, Madhavaacharya, Vishnu Swami, Nimbarka Acharya and other Vaishnava Āchāryas discussed about a fourth stage. The experience in this stage is beyond the reach of our gross or subtle sensual capabilities. This experience comes to our gross plane of understanding only by the sweet will of Absolute. This superior knowledge can force down all our knowledge of the experience of this mundane world.
(6) Aprākrita: (not material) Śrīmad Bhāgavatam talks about this highest stage. Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and his followers like six goswamis discussed this stage of experience, which is very sim
ilar to this mundane world, yet is not mundane. Vedic literature explains that the mundane world or ‘illusory world’ is a perverted reflection of the world of absolute. This is ultimate stage and the most perfect stage.
And here may come the question how somebody can attain the highest stage?, then the only answer is follow the devotional process. If someone wants to experience the taste of honey then he/she has to taste it by putting “honey” inside the mouth. There is no other way! Similarly, one must properly follow in his/her life the scientific process that Vedic literature elaborates and thus he/she can also attain the results of those practices.
But someone may argue how is it practical for a man in household life to practice the process? Then the answer is: Due to a lack of proper knowledge about Vedic system, many have developed a misconception that to follow Vedic system one has to give up everything (tyāga – renunciation) an
d has to go to forest. One must first study carefully Śrīmad Bhagavad-gīta to get an introduction into the Vedic system. We know that Arjuna (who was a householder) also wanted to follow the path of renunciation (tyāga – he wanted to leave everything and wanted to go to forest) when he was in extremely distressed condition during the great Mahābhārata war. Bhagavān Sri Krishna in Śrīmad Bhagavad-gīta informs us through Arjuna that there is much higher level of consciousness – dedicating consciousness (bhakti) and to attain bhakti one does not have to renounce but one has to learn under an expert guide to use. As always Srila Prabhupada used to mention "Action the same Consciousness different". We should change our consciousness to live the vedic life as Arjuna did, doing the prescribed duty as service to lord.
As we mentioned before the Vedic text is to be understood and practiced in our day-to-day life. Here we give an easy example, which anyone can comprehend as it is a very commonly seen. The Veda says in the hymns called ‘Mantra Puñpam’.
yo ‘psu nävaà pratiñöhitäà Veda / praty eva tiñöhati /
“One who thus understands that in the same way the boat floats on water, will be similarly well situated.”
The hymn describes that different demigods controlling water (Varuëa), growth (Candra), life (Sürya) and others, are powerful because they are intimately connected with the Supreme Lord trough devotional service (äpaù). Thus they are the shelter of different energies and functions. One who knows their position and one’s own position becomes wealthy and well established and successful in one’s duties or occupation. On the end it concludes with the analogy of the floating boat saying: one will be well established even in an unstable situation, like the boat on the liquid water.
The modern science calls this the principle of buoyancy of Archimedes. “A body immersed in a fluid experiences a buoyant force equal to the weight of the fluid it displaces.” It is used in physics to explain weight loss of a submerged object. However this Vedic principle has much more to say.
A boat can float and carry a large weight as payload because it displaces water of a larger weight and thus it can be placed on an unstable liquid surface. The boat is a solid material and the water is liquid. If the boat is tilted beyond its limit, in spite of being empty will fill up with water and sink. So this effect can only be utilized if one understands the nature of both object the boat and water.
The hymn as we mentioned before introduces the point that all great demigods positioned in different authoritative positions gain their authority and ability from the Supreme Lord. This authority is given in the Vedas as religious conduct applicable for all. Let us see this in action.
There are two principles herein the stable male principle and the constantly changing feminine energy of variety. The boat is representing the stable principle by being on the top of the water representing the female principle of variety. Variety here indicates that water sometimes peaceful, other times wavy and again other times stormy. Here the instruction is given to husbands, that woman may exhibit various natures, being peaceful, happy, frivolous, angry, and so on. In spite of all these externals the man must remain calm and supportive in all these situations as the boat always sitting peacefully on the top of the sea even if it is wavy or violent.
The same is applied in any other relationships. The king must be a stable man supporting and sheltering all his citizens. The parents must in the same way support and shelter their children even if they are naughty and cause a lot of trouble. They should not get angry although they may exhibit anger to teach their children, but internally they have to maintain stability and equilibrium as the boat. Same principal is applied in all relations like teacher and students (Guru-Sishya), manager and subordinates etc.
Another angle of the same principle is that the different demigods represent the different energies of The Supreme Lord Hari. The boat floats on the water and reacts to its actions accordingly. The same time the water always keeps its lord on top or superb position, thus water takes a subordinate position under the boat. One will be always in some position where being served, pleased or respected. Thus one may be placed in a superior position. This automatically invokes a reciprocal position of giving support and shelter to the other party who are exhibiting these service, respect and so on. Children respect their parents if they are giving the appropriate shelter to them. This shelter does not restricted only to food, but to parenting, educating, giving time to explain things, deal with their challenges, personal guidance, expressing love, receiving love shown, giving encouragement, demanding discipline and so on, in one word they CARE for them. If so, than the children will certainly respect their parents. The same is applied in other relationships as we mentioned before (king–citizens, husband–wife, employer–worker and so on). Neglecting these principles is selfishness. Out of such selfishness one fails to reciprocate or be responsible. It is like taking the golden egg of chicken and not feeding her. Such irreligious activity will bring ruin on us and ruins our relationships. The Veda gives us these principles for our benefit. These principles must be always applied to every spheres of our life. If we take this wisdom than we will be benefited.
The final point of the hymn is that the Supreme Lord also maintain this stable position in spite the conditioned living entities purposefully disobey him due to their selfishness. He does not get angry. If there is any anger is seen that is due to trouble we create for ourselves. It is like a child cutting the branch of a tree on which he is sitting. The branch finally falls and the child falls with it. This was not a punishment for his action, nor did the parents tell the branch to fall in regard to rectify their child’s misbehavior. It was purely the foolishness of the child. So the same way we are “punished” for our sins. This is not the Supreme Lords revenge on us for disobeying Him. He loves us and he never gets angry with us. He is there for us whenever we turn to Him. He is like the boat on the sea. He deals with his energies like us as we seek His attention. One who understand this principle of the boat and water and apply it in ones life, will be successful like those great demigods who control light, water and so on. Such a person will lovingly worship The Supreme Lord with all one’s action and thus one’s life becomes a sacrifice, not by sitting in a cave and meditating on some void idea or by chanting some big mantras, but by daily actions in Krsna consciousness.