Is Cosmos Conscious per Pantheism? Carl Sagan begins his bestseller, the Cosmos, with the three assumptions. They are a) humans have evolved to wonder, b) understanding is a joy, and c) knowledge is prerequisite to survival. Wonder, understanding and knowledge – aren’t these qualities of consciousness? Surely, a scientist cannot attribute these directly to atoms, molecules, and cells. Where do these qualities pop up from? Let us understand if the Cosmos is Conscious based on Pantheism. Scientists say that everything which we see today came from a big bang, thirteen billion years ago. Secondly, the big bang created elementary particles. These first coalesced into subatomic particles. Subatomic particles further coalesced into atoms. We see these atoms spread throughout this massive universe. Did elementary particles carry rudimentary aspects of consciousness at the time of the Big-Bang? Fortunately, the Vedas are more eloquent about the Conscious Cosmos than modern science. What rudimentary aspects of consciousness existed at the time of creation? How did
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Carvings of the Chariot of the Sun in Stone are charming. Artisans in India built Sun temples in the past with inspiration from Puranas texts. (We notice a completely different idea of the Chariot of Sun (Helios or Sol) in Greek and Roman mythologies. Therefore, this analysis is limited to ideas in the Veda). Firstly, Puranas attempt to simplify ideas in the Vedas into metaphors, in this case the Chariot. Secondly, artisans used their creativity to chisel the metaphor on stone. Certainly, there are differences between what we see in Stone and in the texts. Firstly, the texts say that the Sun’s chariot moves on one wheel. Let us understand the metaphor of the lone wheel of the Chariot of the Sun. Let us begin with a short poem. The Lone Wheel of the Chariot of the Sun A lone wheel spins for Sun’s massive chariot Spinning fast carrying light through the year! A Lone wheel turns on three, not one
Sinivali, Kuhu, Anumati and Raka are names of Goddesses in the Vedas. Veda Vyasa, the compiler of Vedas, gathered only two mantras related to Sinivali in Rig Veda. Therefore, Translators find these verses hard to translate. However, Vyasa provides additional clues in his Purana works in such cases. This is the case also about Sinivali (सिनीवाली), Raka (राका), Kuhu (कुहू) or young moon and Anumati. They are Vedic goddesses who are associated with the phases of the moon. A review of the idea of the phases of the moon in the context of the Kalaas of Soma brings us more clarity. Subdivisions in new moon phase (thithi) Vedic astronomers split the lunation cycle (29.5 days) into thirty units. Each Thithi unit (similar to the phases of the moon) refers to a 12-degree movement of the Moon from the Sun (Surya Siddhanta). Consequently, the average duration of a Thithi is less than 24 hours. There is one anomaly when we go to an earlier Era. This relates to the Amavasya
Birbal, the legendary court jester of Akbar’s court hails from the town of Kalapriya Nagari. This town is now Kalpi. Initially, the town got its name from an ancient Sun temple. The once reputed Sun Temple in is nowhere in sight today in Kalpi. Samba, the son of Sri Krishna built three Sun temples at right before the start of the Kali Era. The Sun temple at Konark is the most visited of the three today. Worship continued in the Sun Temple, in Multan, into the first half of the last century. Unfortunately, the Sun Temple in Kalpi is a mere memory, in history. Kalpi town hosted the mint of the rich Moghuls at the time of Akbar. This shows the importance of the region. The town’s people came under the ire of the British when Kalpi became an epicenter of several mutiny against the British. History about Kalpi Sun temple The history of this temple therefore goes back several
Nivid Mantras are riddles What are Nivid Mantras? How do some of these represent the numbers of Devas to be 33? Nivids are a class of Vedic mantras. Some Indologists believe Nivids to predate the other mantras in the Vedas. The performers of the Soma Yagna remember this story even today. According to the story, a complex Yagya hid itself from the Devas. Therefore, the Devas performed a simpler fire ritual. However, towards the end of the Yagna they realized that they could remember the steps for the complex Yagna. Consequently, they announced their success through the Nivid mantras. Nivids are expressions of wonder. Secondly, they contain the word “Aho”. Thirdly, Nivids express hints about the secret workings of the universe. Certainly, we can use Nivids to decode important Vedic mantras. Nivids are named after Devas. Indologists made a special note of the Nivids of Vishe Devas. These Nivids give the number of Vedic Gods in the form of a riddle. It says that
Bhishma Ashtami and the Bed of Nails In this post I explore the connection between Bed of Nails and Bhishma Ashtami. Did the idea of the bed of nails originate from the time of Mahabharata? Bhishma lay on a bed of arrows. He waited for Ratha Saptami day in the month of Magh to pass. (Ratha refers to the Chariot of the Sun) The following day, namely, Ashtami, is still remembered by his name. Two popular images defined India as an exotic destination in the sixties. They were the nail of bed and snake charmers. The Nail of bed drew the attention of westerners, once again, a decade back, this time as a therapy. The New York Times ran an article about this trend in 2014. During the colonial era, Britishers living in India experienced thrill upon encountering an ascetic sitting on bed of nails. However, sitting on a nail of bed has never been a common custom among Indians.
The Super-Abstractions in Veda – “Om Bhur Bhuvah Suvah” What does the mantra “Om Bhur Bhuva Suvaha” (ॐ भू र्भुवः सुवः) really represent? Let us understand this through an example in Physics, namely, the position vector. Space is a fundamental quantity in physics. Consequently, we cannot define it via other quantities. On the other hand, it can be understood in relation to measures such as Distance and Direction. For example, a scientist uses “position vectors” to refer to relate two distant objects in Space. The Vedas present this idea a bit differently. This is because the Cosmos is not inert according to the Vedas but is conscious. Direction or Dik, in the model of a conscious cosmos. is measurable only because there are three fundamental principles. What are these? भूरग्नयेपृथिव्यैस्वाहा भुवोवायवेऽन्तरिक्षाय स्वाहासुवरादित्याय दिवेस्वाहा भुर्भुवस्सुवश्चन्द्रमसेदिग्भ्यः स्वाहानमोदेवेभ्यः स्वधा पितृभ्योभूर्भुवःसुवरग्न ओम् Mahanarayana Upanishad 4.1 Dik or direction (one of the two measures in a position vector) carries a meaning in the context of an observer not otherwise.
A Vaccuum Scientist says that Space will retain the laws of nature even if all of matter is removed from it. Therefore, Vaccuum can form matter form emptiness by following these laws of nature again. Long ago, the Rishis expressed a similar idea. A Rishi’s idea of the “absolute” existence is like this Vaccuum. “Relative” existence of the material existence arises at will from this “absolute”. The Om sound refers to the Absolute. What then are the Vyahriti (व्याहृति) sounds which are closely associated with the Om sound? Mantras form the boundary between the Absolute and the Relative Sri Sri Ravishankar on the Spanda Karika text The Mantras form the boundary between the absolute and the relative existence. Mantras originate from the Vyahriti sounds. Veda practitioners say that the Vyahritis can enhance the power of Mantras. Therefore, Veda students and experts include the Vyahritis whenever they meditate on the famous Gayatri Mantra. But what are the Vyahritis? Vyahriti in stories
We can see boundary lines on a map. Often, these lines do not correspond to a physical partition or a geographical transition. We can understand the Vedic idea of sacred space in this context. Sthandila, the foundation of a Yajna fire ceremony is the rudimentary version of sacred space. The Agni Kunda firepit is a natural evolution from Sthandila. A temple is a complex construct based on the idea of sacred space. . Vedas declare Brahman, the universal being, to be all-pervasive. The entire universe is the body of Brahman. Then, shouldn’t all of space, within the cosmos, be sacred? How do Rishis claim a piece of land within the temple premise, a Kunda pit or a Sthandila square to be special? Experts use the analogy of rain to answer this question. Rain as an analogy for Sthandila, Kunda and temple Rain falls evenly across a wide territory. It does not make a distinction between the ground with different contours.
We will explore three related ideas in this post, namely, Parjanya the rain god, Manduka, the croaking frog and Vedic chanting in a group. Since the past few decades, some people trivialize the sound of Vedic chants by comparing it to the croaking of frogs. Further they quote the croaking frog poem in the Rig Veda as a reference. Did the original poet really hold a low opinion of group chants? Indologists took a special note of the 103rd poem in the 7th mandala of the Rig Veda. They call this poem with its ten verses the croaking frog poem. Rishis Vasishta cognized this poem. Rishis associated each poem with a Devata or a divine being. Strangely, Vasishta associated Manduka or the croaking frog to be the Devata of his poem. Certainly, the poem is to Parjanya, the rain God, who inspires frogs to croak at the first rains of the season. Vasishta’s croaking frog poem What is the special