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Lecture Series in Ancient Indian Sciences
Lecture 57
Leelavathi Ganitham
One of the celebrated Indian Astronomers of yesteryears Late Sri Bhaskaracharya II (born 1108 AD) authored a book, among others, at the age of 36 known as Sidhantha Siromani in Salivahana Saka 1072 which coincides with 1144 A.D. The book contains four sub-titles – (1) Leelavathi Ganitham which deals with arithmetic; (2) Beeja Ganitham which deals with Algebra (3) Graha ganitham which deals with planetary movements in the zodiac and (4) Gola Adhyayam which deals with Spherical Trigonometry involving Astronomy.

Leelavathi Ganitham contains chapters on (1) four rules of arithmetic; (2) Square and Square root; (3) Cube and Cube root; (4) Fractions); (5) applications to problems of daily life; (6) Rule of three; (7) Mensuration; (8) Progressions; (9) Permutations & Combinations; (10) Solutions to indeterminate equations; (11) Continued fractions; (12) Convergency etc.

Bhaskaracharya II was born in a Maharastrian Brahmin family. He lived in a village Vijjadabida near Sahyadri. Pandit Sudhakar Dwivedi was of opinion that Bhaskaracharya was born Bijapur. There were three theories in circulation about how the name ‘Leelavathi’ was associated with the book, according to which Leelavati could be his wife or widowed daughter or lastly his concubine.

Bhaskaracharya himself wrote a commentary known as ‘Vasanabhashyam’ on Leelavathi Ganitham. Several other great scholars such as Mahamahopadhyaya Pandit Bapudev Shastry (in Hindi and Sanskrit), Mahamahopadhyaya Sudhakar Dwivedi (Paramaguru of Late Sri Pidaparty Krishnamurty Sastry), and several others have written commentaries in Sanskrit, Hindi, Telugu, and English.

‘Daivajnabhushana’, ‘Ganitakalanidhi’, ‘Bharathi Teerthopadhyaya’ Sri Pidaparty Krishnamurty Sastry (1897-1977) - father of the present speaker- published an extensive commentary in Telugu on Leealavathi Ganitham in 1936. It was not customary to provide proof for any mathematical formulae or methods in earlier years. Proof was included in this commentary, though it was not in the original. The focus of the present lecture is on problems extracted from chapters on multiplication (gunanam); mensuration (kshetravyavaharam); kuttakavyavaharam (solutions to indeterminate equations); and ankapasa vyavaharam (permutations & combinations)
Lecture 56
(Earth Day Special Lecture)
Earth day is as sacred as Mother’s day because we are borne out of this earth and we go back to this earth. During our life Mother earth not only provides us with all that we need but also protects us from so many dangerous extra terrestrial forces/radiations etc. Even now many people in India pray and ask for forgiveness while getting up from the bed and landing their feet on the ground. According to ancient Indian sciences the whole universe is made of just five elements called Pancha Bhutas namely air, water, land, fire and space.

One cannot live with out water for more than 11 days. While ancient Indians attributed divinity to water, modern civilization has made water a mere commodity or a resource and as such exploitable and marketable! Ever since the industrial civilization has started in the West more than two hundred years ago, it is generally believed that the way to progress for any country is only to catch up with the West. However, the path of development the developed countries chose and propagated all over the world turned out to be not only unsustainable as vindicated by the uncontrollable environmental problems surfacing of late but also by the economic melt of 2008. India is four times more populous than US and three times smaller in area and that makes it ridiculous to make plans of any development based on American model. The clever concept of globalization coupled with the addiction to high technology promoted by the West for its own benefit is leading the developing world to greater and greater misery. The condition of the developing world is like that of a person who is tied to a galloping horse by his nose. Of course he has a choice either to run with the horse or not, but either way it hurts him.

The present crisis of water all over the world is as much due to the Western concept of development as due to the population growth. The availability of drinking water per capita is inadequate and shrinking worldwide dangerously. The UN World Water Development Report (WWDR, 2003) indicates that, in the next 20 years, the quantity of water available to everyone is predicted to decrease by 30% while already 40% of the world's inhabitants have insufficient fresh water for minimal hygiene. Water scarcity is not only the problem of poor and developing countries! With the kind of usage of water, even a vast country like US with a density of population of less than 40/ is going to face severe water shortage.

The Himalayan glaciers that are the source of Asia's seven biggest rivers could disappear earliest by 2035 and latest by 2050 as temperatures rise, affecting 2.4 billion people living in the drainage basins in several countries including India and China. With decreasing availability and increasing demand for water, some have predicted that clean water will become the "next oil"; making countries like Canada, Chile, Norway, Colombia and Peru, with this resource in abundance, the water-rich countries in the world.

There are apparently several ways of augmenting water resources namely: 1. Construction of dams and more dams 2. Interlinking of rivers (ILR) 3. Exploration for deeper and deeper groundwater resources 4.Transportation of water from water rich to water poor areas 5. Desalination of sea water 6. Rain water harvesting 7. Recycling of water 8. Drastic changes in water culture. But each one of them has its own problems.

Construction of dams has been tried world wide. Although this has been successful with a lot of short term gains, failure of monsoons, sedimentation, flurosis, rehabilitation problems, lack of funds for maintenance, diminishing returns, environmental concerns have been haunting us. The hydrological cycle also is interrupted because very little river water is reaching the sea. Inter Linking of Rivers (ILR) is an extremely expensive and complex project to execute and maintain. The ILR is no answer at all to the needs of areas un-served by rivers. Augmentation of groundwater is becoming increasingly difficult because over exploitation has already led to a serious drop in groundwater table all over the world and reached depths a kilometer and more in some places.

Coming to transportation of water from water rich to water poor areas, there is already a proposal to bring water from Alaska to India through huge specially built tankers via sea, store and bottle the water in a water hub planned to be erected in Western India. But the cost of water is going to be as expensive as desalination. Desalination of groundwater is being tried in Singapore, Israel, Spain and other countries. Desalination of sea water today costs about half a dollar for cubic meter of water. A draw back to desalination is the brine sludge that forms during the treatment process, which is typically dumped back in the ocean potentially increasing the salinity of water and also affecting the local eco system.

After considering the major options cited above, the most sensible way of augmenting water resources appears to be rain water harvesting (RWH). This low tech method has been in practice since centuries in India. Rajendra Singh winner of 2001 Ramon Magsaysay Award for Community leadership, who is also known as the The Waterman of Rajasthan helped countless villages in Rajasthan. The technique of RWH has been successfully used not only to store and use the rain water but also in recharging the groundwater by the construction of Kunds (Thar desert), Johads (Alwar), Bandha, Rapats (Mewar) and Pats(Jabhua, Madhya Pradesh). A good complement to RWH is recycling of waste water. Used water can be recycled after purification by membrane filtration, ozone disinfection, UV disinfection, heat treatment, sand filtration, open recirculation of cooling towers.

Last but the most important way to fight the impending water crisis is by adopting a change in water culture. The first step in this direction is a change in our concepts of development which are totally based on Western model, which are clearly unsuitable for our country. External pressures and internal problems have forced us to opt for privatization and later globalization. Although apparently many benefits accrued, in a way that was the end of India’s independence and the freedom of tackling her own problems. Modern concepts in economics and science have started ruling the world. Our economists are obsessed with Western concepts of growth rate and GDP. Our scientists spend enormous time and money in replicating what the West has done and been doing to prove that we are as great as they. In the process, simple and cheap solutions that could solve our country’s problems are brushed aside to make way for grandiose, expensive, high technology solutions all of which consume enormous water resources. If the economist says Market can conquer all forms of scarcity and if the scientist says that Technology can conquer all forms of scarcity, both are not telling the TRUTH! Obviously they are misguiding the public and saying that only for their own well being, if not survival. If all of us humans depend on bottled water and all the natural water bodies go into disuse and are polluted who will quench the thirst of other poor creatures like animals, birds and plants. How can we protect the biodiversity?

Each country has to formulate its own development programs depending up on its population, resources, availability of indigenous technology and above all societal needs and culture instead of imitating the developed countries in toto. Let us realize that the country (or even the planet) and its resources are not meant for one or two generations. We cannot go on vandalizing the Mother Earth as if there is no tomorrow, as if there is no body to live after we depart. In fact the pollution in the world is directly related the pollution in the minds of the people. So if we want fight the pollution outside, we have to first fight the pollution inside our minds. To quote an eminent Indian philosopher "It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society."

Now who will educate the people about all this? Once upon a time there used to be pundits and scholars who are highly knowledgeable and selfless, who led a simple and eco-friendly life and guided the society as to what is right and what is wrong. While this breed of people is hardly to be found now, the scientist was given that status. Any thing he said was a scripture for the society. But it looks as though the present day scientist has not much say now. They have become passing spectators vis a vis the powerful economists who guide the destinies of the countries all over the world. And both of them play a subservient role to the governments and finally all over the world governments are de facto run by Multi National Corporations. The taste of money is like the taste of blood. We know about sharks and cannibals!

The scientists, like Judiciary, need to hold independent opinion to protect the interests of people and the land. India should develop a strong scientific and public opinion against this vandalism of earth in the name of development. We have to get rid of this megalomania. We should cut down on wastage of water resources in agriculture by training the farmers and providing them the necessary know how and equipment. While the people cannot fight with government or business houses, they have a very powerful weapon of NOT BUYING. We can cut down on flaunting of wealth, unnecessary shopping and harmful entertainment. We should introduce less complex educational systems. We should also introduce Yoga and Naturopathy clinics in all villages to reduce dependence on expensive and complex medcare. All these measures will considerably save our water resources.

We should make it top priority to keep on educating the students as well as the masses about the impending water scarcity and the dangers associated with it for the individuals and the society. As Mahatma Gandhi said “The difference between what we do and what we are capable of doing would suffice to solve most of our problems”
Om Shanti Shanti Shanti
(May peace prevail in the world!)
Lecture 55
Swami Tattva Vidananda saraswati
Brahma Vidya Kutir
The moment we say AUM, it is understood as a symbol of Hindu religion. Unlike other religions, it is not a religion established by any historical or mythological figure like Krishna, Rama or even Lord Siva. It is more a way of life followed in this part of the world from times immemorial and known as Sanatana Dharma and thus considered the mother of all religions because of its antiquity. In spite of a wide variety of gods, beliefs and practices of worship and even hostilities among various sects in Sanatana Dharma, they are all invariably and reverentially tied to the primordial and cosmic sound AUM of divine nature. AUM had traveled to Middle East and Europe and got transformed there as Amen in Christianity and Amin in Islam. Even Greek Omega has a resemblance to AUM.

Some people tried to interpret AUM as an alphabetical sound of Sanskrit language, with the meaning “that which protects!”, thus limiting its relevance to a particular language or region. But actually it is an intonational sound that is relevant to the entire universe. When we want to communicate with animals, birds or infants who do not know any language we use a variety of intonational sounds to convey our emotions. AUM is such an intonational sound used to communicate with the omni present Nature around us, which is revered as a manifestation of God. But in modern times this sacred Nature has become a commodity for exploitation in the name of development.

In hustle and bustle of modern times and with endless worldly thoughts it is impossible for oneself to tune to the Nature and its beautiful and subtle sounds. But if we can move away from worldly noise worldly thoughts and silence our mind then we will be able to hear the chirping of the birds, buzzing of the insects, sounds of the cascading water and even the sound of dry leaf falling on the ground, then we can hear the all pervading sound AUM. We can identify AUM from the cooing of cuckoo and even the barking of a dog! According to the ancient Indian Vedanta the universe is borne out of sound, which is called Shabda Shrishti, which incidentally is conceptually similar to the modern theory of universe forming out of the Big Bang.

In any case AUM is beyond any religion and goes in to the realm of science and spirituality. AUM uplifts man from the mundane to higher levels of illumination. AUM is chanted sitting in an upright spine erect but relaxed position, free from tension. In one of the techniques of chanting AUM or Omkara one inhales slowly with out break and while exhaling says AUM smoothly. A person in an angry mood can get over his anger if he can chant AUM half a dozen times. It has the capacity to change the animal man in to normal man, normal man in to superman, superman in to divine man and finally divine man in to divinity itself. A word of caution is necessary here for normal family people. AUM if properly chanted has the capacity to develop distaste for worldly things and as such people who are not ripe for spiritual development are advised against the practice of Omkara.

AUM shanti, Shanti, Shanti
Lecture 54
The world wide degradation of air, water and land besides other pollutions like radioactivity, electromagnetism, sound , light, visual etc are acquiring dangerous proportions resulting in global warming and climate change, with disastrous consequences like floods, draughts, hurricanes, epidemics etc. threatening the very life on the planet earth. The once attractive slogan “Industrialize or Perish” now turned to a curse “Industrialize and Perish”. The United Nations, which was once busy developing the world under UNDP (1965) had to come out with an equally or more important activity under UNEP (1972).

Ban Ki-moon, the re-elected eighth Secretary-General of the United Nations has set his priority on mobilizing the world leaders around a set of new global challenges that include climate change. The 1972 Stockholm conference on the Human Environment had agreed upon a Declaration containing 26 principles concerning the environment and development; an Action Plan with 109 recommendations, and a Resolution. Since then scores of meetings, conferences and summits have taken place out of which some are important and path breaking. The First World Climate Conference (Geneva, Feb. 1979) presented the first evidence of the negative effects of human activity on the climate.

The World Commission on Environment and Development (1983) concluded that the future of mankind was at risk if unsustainable growth and development continued. The trend of increasing destruction and depletion of resources by industrialized countries would be compounded if copied by the developing world as it struggled to improve its own living standards. The Vienna Convention (1985) focused on the Protection of the Ozone Layer The Montreal Protocol (1987) set a control on the consumption and production of chlorine- and bromine-containing chemicals that destroy stratospheric ozone, such as chlorofluorocarbons, methyl chloroform, carbon tetrachloride, and many others.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) was created in 1988. It was set up by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) to provide the governments of the world with a clear scientific view of what is happening to the world's climate, to assess scientific, technical and socio- economic information relevant for the understanding of climate change, its potential impacts and options for adaptation and mitigation. The successive reports of IPCC have confirmed the fears, paving the way for the formation of The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change – UNFCCC during the Rio earth Summit in 1992 whose message was that “nothing less than a transformation of our attitudes and behavior would bring about the necessary changes”. The message reflected the complexity of the problems facing us: that poverty as well as excessive consumption by affluent populations place damaging stress on the environment.

The Convention on Biological Diversity signed by 150 (later grew to 192) government leaders at the 1992 Rio Earth Summit recognized that biological diversity is about more than plants, animals and micro organisms and their ecosystems – it is about people and our need for food security, medicines, fresh air and water, shelter, and a clean and healthy environment in which to live. Considering that the UNFCCC constituents range from highly developed countries to fast developing economies to developing countries besides an alliance of low lying small island states which are highly vulnerable to adverse consequences of climate change and sea level rise, a strategy on what should be done by who, can never have a consensus. Further, Biodiversity ceased to be simple protection plant and animal life on the earth thanks to the complex and dangerous advances in biotechnology, which of course the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety (2000) aims to reduce the same. The Hyderabad meeting is considered a significant event where two new protocols such as Nagoya Protocol and the Nagoya- Kuala Lumpur Supplementary Protocol will be included. Both the protocols will seek legal binding implications by the member countries over the next few months.

There as many as 20 targets under five strategic goals set for the Biodiversity Decade (2011-2020) of UN, needless to say using all the necessary jargon. Whatever are the recommendations of these conferences and summits, ultimately each country has to take care of its own environmental issues at the grass root level and the responsibility lies with the government in spreading the awareness and the people in implementing the programs. It is very clear that the path of development the developed countries chose turned out to be not only unsustainable as vindicated by the environmental problems of 21st century but also the economic melt of 2008.

We need to realize that India’s future does not merely depend on these jamboree high profile summits and conferences which create more problems and pollution than they pretend to be solving and controlling. Notwithstanding the overall global warming, each country can and should work for a comfortable regional climate and even microclimates within. India backed by its brilliant ancient wisdom can do it if it wants to and become a world leader in fighting pollution and controlling the degrading climate. The ancient Indian concepts of science never permitted present day type vandalism of the earth and its resources. Drawing the resources from the earth is supposed to be done as discretely as we draw milk from a cow. Only natural and simple solutions involving minimum technology can save us and the Mother Earth. Taking cue from the proverbial adage Apna Kaam swayam karo, we should spread the message Apna desh ko swayam bachao.
Lecture 53
Treatment of Lumbar and Cervical Spondylitis by Yoga and Nature Cure
Prof.M. Venkata Reddy and Dr.T.Krishna Murthy
Prof.M. Venkata Reddy
Dr.T.Krishna Murthy
A very common disorder of the spine is spondylosis. The condition reduces mobility of the intervertebral joints. Usually, the lumbar and cervical spine are more frequently affected than the thoracic spine, because the curvature of the latter prevents spondylosis from impinging on the spinal cord. As the diseases progress, they cripple normal functioning of the body. If ignored, spondylosis may lead to disabling pain, limited motion, and partial paralysis in affected areas of the body.
Yoga for Spondylosis
There are very few scientific studies conducted on the curative aspects of yoga on Lumbar and Cervical spondylosis. The Government Vemana Yoga Research Institute (GVYRI), Secunderabad in collaboration with the Orthopedic Dept of Nizam’s Institute of Medical Sciences conducted a prospective trial of yoga therapy in low back and neck pain over a period of three years during 1989-91. A total of 138 patients was treated at GVYRI with the following program.
» Stage I – Niralambhasana & Makarasana
» Stage II – Bhujangasana & Makarasana
» Stage III - Dhanurasana & Makarasana
Similarly about 156 cases of Cervical Spondylosis have been treated wit the following program:
» Stage I - Niralambhasana & Makarasana
» Stage II – Bhujangasana & Brahma Mudra
» Stage III – Parvatasana & Ushtrasana
The response was considered very encouraging because 65% of the patients reported improvement within 6 weeks while another 10% showed improvement in 3 months. 15% of the patients did not show any change. Another 10% patients could not judged due to irregularity and absenteeism.
Nature Cure for Spondylosis
Naturopathy is an art and science of hralthy living and drugless system of healing based on well founded philosophy. The body has its own resistance and disease fighting mechanism, if scope is given to it. The father of modern medicine Hippocretes himself said “let medicine be thy food and food thy medicine” Naturopathy uses mainly four types therapies i) diet therapy ii) hydrotherapy iii) magneto therapy and iv) manipulation and massage therapy.

A vegetarian diet as well as inclusin of fruits, green vegetables in our food has vital role in reducing pain. Fried food, spices and non vegetarian food should be avoided to the extent possible.

Hot and cold douches to lower back, hot spine bath, steam bath, hot water fomentation / wet pack will be helpful in reducing lower back pain.

Keeping high power magnets (North and South poles at appropriate places) on the lumbar spine will reduce pain and stiffness.

Suitable manipulative and massage therapy will also give considerable relief in spondylosis. However this should be avoided in case of infections, inflammation, tuberculosis, tumors of the spine, osteomyelity.

On the whole a combination of yoga and nature cure is known to help remarkably in the cure of Lumbar and Cervical Spondylosis.
Lecture 52
Three Great Tsunamis: Lisbon (1755), Sumatra-Andaman (2004) and Japan (2011)
Harsh Gupta
National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA)
The three most devastating earthquakes and resultant tsunamis namely the Lisbon (1755), Sumatra- Andaman (2004), and the Japan (2011) occurred in different parts of the world under varying socio-economic backdrops. These three earthquakes belong to the Low Probability Extreme Events (LPEEs) category. The November 1, 1755 Lisbon mega-thrust earthquake, that occurred on All Saints Day, is now estimated to have a magnitude of Mw 8.5 ~9.0. It is among the worst earthquakes to have hit Europe. The estimates of the human lives lost vary and extend to 100,000. The earthquake was felt all over the Europe and a major tsunami was generated which had reached a height of up to 30 m and spread all over the Atlantic Ocean. The science of seismology made a beginning as a consequence of looking into the cause of this great earthquake and the resultant tsunami.

The December 26, 2004 Sumatra- Andaman earthquake of Mw 9.2 caused wide spread damage in south and south-east Asian countries. The resultant tsunami claimed an estimated 250,000 human lives: the largest ever loss of human lives in a tsunami. The relative rarity of occurrence of tsunamis in the Indian Ocean and lack of tsunami warning facilities were among the major reasons for such a huge loss of lives. The March 11, 2011 Tohoku (Japan) earthquake of Mw 9.0 was a surprise to earthquake seismologists in Japan and globally. This earthquake and the resultant tsunami claimed about 20,000 human lives and caused wide spread damage to the structures. The tsunami also caused damage to nuclear power plants. This earthquake has given rise to a global debate on the anticipated maximum size of earthquakes and safety of nuclear power plants globally. These 3 LPEEs and the way forward is presented.
Lecture 51
India’s Progress from Diseases of Poverty to Diseases of Luxury
Director, National Institute of Nutrition, Hyderabad
The two major causes of both morbidity and mortality among people today are infectious diseases on the one hand and chronic non-communicable diseases on the other. Though the developed world has succeeded in keeping infectious diseases in control, it is still challenged by a plethora of chronic non-communicable diseases like diabetes, hypertension, heart disease and cancers. Sadly, India has to bear the burden of both these problems. A major reason for these chronic diseases is the way of life itself, what we call as lifestyle related disorders. The risk of developing these diseases and of premature deaths due to them starts right from an early age, that is, while in the womb itself. At this stage in life, mother’s nutritional status becomes the deciding factor to determine the quantity of fat to be stored in the body (of the unborn child) to last for a life time. Due to the non availability of adequate nutrition inside mother’s womb, the baby develops a mechanism to save energy in the form of excess body fat. This excess fat poses a major risk of chronic diseases in future years. However, it has been noticed that with or without this disadvantage, if the child grows up eating more of energy dense foods devoid of good amounts of fruits and vegetables and whole grains and also refuse to take physical exercise, more and more fat starts getting stored in the body. This triggers a chain of events like insulin resistance, diabetes, hypertension, etc. finally leading to a whole range of complications including heart attacks, strokes, kidney failure and certain types of cancers and thus leading to premature deaths.

The quest for increased comforts and adaptation of new technologies by people worldwide has resulted in large shifts in diet and activity patterns. Healthy diets and physical activity patterns enjoyed by earlier generations somehow have been replaced by calorie dense foods and sedentary lifestyles. To complicate the matters further, people living in the developing world also suffer from diseases emanating from maternal, fetal and early childhood nutrient inadequacies. There is also a significant increase in the intake of nutritionally inferior foods that are cheaper and also of foods of animal origin. Intake of caloric sweeteners, shift from natural and coarse grains to refined cereals have been shown to exert a negative impact on health. Further damage to people’s health is being caused by automation at home as well as office and modern transport facilities which restrict the scope of taking physical exercises and also fail to kindle interest in them.

In India, Diabetes mellitus is seen to affect the health of population groups adversely. Most people with diabetes are salt sensitive and it would be prudent to restrict their salt intake to less than 2400mg a day. For requirement of other minerals like calcium, magnesium, zinc, chromium and vanadium, it is advisable to prefer natural foods containing these minerals over processed or refined foods. The visible fat requirement for Indians ranges between 20 and 50g per day. It is noticed that while the rural and urban poor consume less than 12g of fat, urban rich consume about 40g. Pressures of modern living also seem to contribute to these life style associated problems. “Modify your diet and lifestyle and take charge of your health” should be the new age mantra.”

Although food alone is not the cause for chronic diseases, definitely it is one of the contributors. A number of functional foods are entering the market today. A Functional Food is similar to conventional foods. It is consumed as a part of a normal diet and is known to provide physiological benefits and/or reduce the risk of chronic disease beyond its basic nutritional function. Reducing glycemic load, moderation of salt intake and elimination of trans fats will all help in reducing the risk of chronic diseases. Let us be more responsible towards our future generations and instead of making children as soft targets for marketing junk foods, let us strive to nurture and empower them adequately. As a part of Corporate Social Responsibility, nutritious foods can be marketed using social marketing techniques and better lifestyles can be promoted aggressively. Food industry needs to ensure complete food safety using all available infrastructure and Risk analysis methods. It would be appropriate if we make this nutritional fact crystal clear: There is no substitute to natural and freshly prepared wholesome foods.
Lecture 50
The Glory of Ancient Indian Mathematics
Prof. V. Kannan
There are several branches of science where our ancestors have made remarkable contributions in ancient India. In this lecture we confine ourselves to 1.Number Systems 2.Geometry 3.Trigonometry. 4.Astronomy 5.Genetic Engineering and 6.Metallurgy, and provide a glimpse of advances made thousands of years ago, by quoting the relevent Sanskrit passages and the historians' comments on them. We touch upon the following contributions:
» decimal number system and place value notation.
» the number zero.
» infinite series and greedy algorithms .
» Hypotenuse theorem.
» Sine function.
» The value of pi.
» Diaphontine equations.
» binary arithmetic.
» combinatorics
» planetary motion.
» genetic manipulations.
» longevity research.
» special alloys.
We give four instances where the ancients’ claims seem to surpass even the present-day-knowledge.
These are:
» aeroplanes with flexible seating capacity.
» creation of progeny with pre-assigned characteristics.
» missiles bringing natural calamities to the target only.
» sound power to create substances.
We explain the appreciative passages of the following western scholars on some of these achievements:
» Albert Einstein, Nobel Laureate
» Laplace, French Mathematician.
» Max Muller, German Indologist.
» Al Beruni, Arabian tourist of eleventh century.
» Severes Selocht, a Syrian astronomer of seventh century.
» Materlink, Nobel Laureate.
» Donald Knuth, Computer scientist.
» A.L.Basham, Australian historian.
» Charles Whish, of East India Company.
» Frits Staal, California University
Lecture 49
Dr. P. W. Basarkar
Agnihotra is the ancient Yagna or homa originated in Indian. The healing power of Agnihotra and other Yagna like Om Tryambakam homa and Vyhruti homa is known as ‘Homa therapy’. It has application in all the spheres of life. Its application in agriculture is referred to as Homa organic farming (HOF) since it requires organic farming as a base. It is a low-cost technology process for the betterment of crops, microbes, animals, human beings and plants in agriculture, horticulture and forestry, which purifies the atmosphere through a specially prepared fire. The HOF heals and improves the lands that we cultivate rather than polluting them with chemicals, provides an opportunity to grow superior crops without using chemical fertilizers and pesticides and purifies the atmosphere.

It has three specific requirements namely i) burning of cow dung cakes in a copper semi-pyramid of fixed size ii) offering of a few grains of whole unpolished, uncooked, organically grown rice and ghee (clarified unsalted butter) to the fire exactly at the local sun rise and sun set, iii) and chanting of specific mantras. The two products of Agnihotra beneficial to the mankind and all forms of life are its smoke and ash which are helpful to the man as well as the environment with the same efficacy.

India is the birth place of Agnihotra and finds its place in Vruksha Ayurveda. Due to its beneficial effects on human beings, animals, insects, micro-organisms and plants, it is now practiced in 75 countries and the leader among them is South American Republic of Peru. Four Agricultural universities in India, namely Tamil Nadu Agricultural University, Coimbatore, CSA Himachal Pradesh Agricultural University, Palampur and University of Agricultural Sciences, Dharwad in Karnataka have started experiments on HOF since the past 5-6 years.

Modern science takes care of improving the quality of soil and water but not the atmosphere. Ancient science of Homa reveals that more than 75 per cent nutrition to the plants comes from the atmosphere. If the atmosphere is made more nutritious and fragrant by Homa, a type of protective coating comes on the plants and therefore pests and diseases do not thrive. Respiration process hastens and the toxic effect of choking and death due to atmospheric toxins is reduced.

In the soil rejuvenated by Homa, different types of microorganisms thrive and create healthy micro-flora and micro-fauna. After the creation of such healthy micro environment, creatures like earthworms thrive better. They eat soil, digest it and again replenish the soil. Improvement in the quality and quantity of the produce, reduction of cost of labour and saving on agrochemicals are other benefits of HOF. ‘Homa Therapy’ (HOF) produce is more superior in taste, size, texture, shelf life. and nutrition because of elimination of toxins.

Although the practice of ‘Agnihotra fire’ was known in India since ancient times, it was Shri Gajanan Maharaj of Shivapuri, Akkalkot in Solapur district of Maharashtra who rejuvenated the practice of daily performance of Agnihotra in 1944 and opened the flood gates to all, irrespective of caste, creed, religion, sex of the performer. He directed his disciple Shri Vasant Paranjape to spread Agnihotra message in the world who visited more than 180 countries to spread the message and knowledge of Agnihotra. Shri Paranjape said “if you test ‘Agnihotra fire’ with an oscilloscope, you will notice a special sound coming from the fire. It is the sound that heals although there are other things also . Fire produces sound but it also reacts to sound. The act of chanting mantra creates a resonance effect which invigorates the cells of plants, leading to better reproductive cycles.

There are several interesting case histories of Agnihotra or Homa Therapy.On the dreadful night of 2-3 December, 1984, MIC gas leaked out of the factory of Union Carbide Corporation of India in Bhopal, some 30-35 people who conducted ‘Om Tryambakam homa’ throughout the night survived the onslaught as against 15,247 people who became victims of the deadly gas. A patient with kidney cancer, brain tumor and leukemia in Australia and a 20 year young HIV affected girl in Ecuador have been cured. Under ground water was attracted in the field in Om Shree Dham in Australia due to practice of ‘Agnihotra fire’ where there was no under ground water available. Water with high arsenic content has been converted to potable drinking water due to ‘Homa therapy’ in Queensland, Australia. The list is endless.

Mrs. Karin Heschl from Austria is a Homa therapy volunteer. Karin was staying in her farm house in Austria which is close to Chernobyl in Ukraine when the nuclear disaster took place in 1986. The Govt. inspectors found normal radioactivity in her farm’s fodder, water and cow-milk samples as against many-fold radioactivity found in the surroundings. She attributed this miraculous finding to the daily performance of Agnihotra or Homa. Since then Karin has been a ‘Homa therapy’ volunteer in India. Bruce Johnson from Australia got cured of his chronic asthma 18 years back due to Agnihotra practice and has since then been camping in India with his wife Anne Godfrey to spread the knowledge of Agnihotra under the banner of Fivefold Path Mission (FFPM) in Tapovan in Jalgaon district of Maharashtra.

Agnihotra, involving fumigation, is thus a super scientific phenomenon beyond the concepts of present day science. It is worthwhile for national laboratories and universities to conduct studies on Agnihotra to put it on a more scientific format so that the society is better equipped to fight the environmental pollution, nuclear disasters and the like.
Lecture 48
Mental and environmental pollution caused by advertizing
A frequently asked question (FAQ) about India is that if the Indian Vedic culture is so old and so ‘advanced’ why India has not developed like other developed countries. The answer lies in the very question! When three hundred years of industrialization has brought the world to the brink of disaster and if India had followed the same materialistic path of the West, we would have devastated the earth long back. Nature, which is considered Divine, is preserved and protected not really for any religious or fanatic reasons but for the very survival of the mankind. On the contrary modern science and technology aims at exploiting Nature for all our requirements both basic as well as so called comforts. It is these comforts that are causing enormous discontent to the man and damage to the Nature.

India’s emphasis has always been on contentment but never on money based happiness. It is always on durable and sustainable progress and not on instant money, instant fame, instant results or even instant health and beauty. Ancient Indian culture and life were Faith based while modern civilization is knowledge based. Carried away by the gloss and glitter of modern life, every body was ready to drop his ancient wisdom and religious guidelines and drop all -isms for a so called happy living and tag on to a new religion which may be called “Economism”. Consequently people are carried away by the very un - Indian concept that money gives happiness or happiness is proportional to money. So money making has become the biggest preoccupation for man. This is very ably supported by the government’s changed policies of privatization and globalization in recent times. People have not only been permitted but also encouraged to manufacture and sell goods limitlessly. With the markets wide open, corporate culture has taken the world by storm. Business schools have mushroomed. Innovation in marketing strategies has crossed all limits of decency, tolerance and ethics. Advertisements have become unbearably aggressive, loud and vulgar. Slowly they have started affecting not only the human mind but also the human environment. Government also used advertisements to support the policies of the ruling party.

The tremendous impact of persuasive advertisement is familiar to Indians wherein four thieves successively persuade a Brahmin carrying a goat for Yagna or ritual sacrifice, to believe it was the untouchable dog he was carrying and not a goat. Finally the Brahmina leaves the goat then and there and walks off. All the four thieves gang up and make a feast of the goat. We can cite a number of mind polluting advertisements which were inaccurate, misguiding and irritating that are unduly forced on the public. And the product manufacturers have made millions on foods, beverages, soft drinks, fertilizers, cosmetics, edible oils, textiles etc by heavy advertisement. How do illiterates in rural areas know what is true? And what is not? They waste their meager resources in buying useless and dangerous things just because their role model - the urbanite - does it. Is it not shocking to see a 9th class student, who may be just around 14 years, reading as a part of his syllabus about “cut throat competition, aggressive marketing strategies and need for persuasive advertising”? Carried away by various advertisements youngsters are burning out fast amidst a horrendous 24 x 7culture of over work coupled by dangerous food and rest habits, and becoming a wreck by the time they are 35 - 40. Today we have reached a stage where we don’t believe what our elders say, what our scriptures say but if some thing appears in the media they take it very seriously. Thus the corporate culture is eating away the vitals of our society.

While the World Trade Center bombing in 2001 may be taken as a reaction to the unethical and inhuman spread of coporatization and the worldwide economic melt led by Lehman Brothers is a clear indication of the hollowness of the global economic progress, the dark future for the planet highlighted by Copenhagen Summit is but real. With the concept of materialism going deeper in to the psyche of every one in the society, there is large scale discontent in the society, which is completely stratified, with each stratum trying to corner as much benefits as possible at the cost of other. People in each stratum are oblivious to the pain and suffering of the others. Globalization has only worsened the situation because vested interests from different countries ganged up to exploit the poor and helpless.

Advertisements cause a lot of environmental pollution also by degrading land, air, water and organic life because they use cheap and non-biodegradable materials, harsh lighting and sound. Noise and light cause substantial damage to the senses. The disturbing findings of a study released by the World Health Organization (WHO) suggest that thousands of people around the world may be dying prematurely or succumbing to disease due to the insidious effects of chronic noise exposure. Some controls may be there on sound pollution in our society but we are neither aware nor care for light pollution, which may cause: increased headache incidence, worker fatigue, medically defined stress, decrease in sexual function and increase in anxiety. Exposure to light at night is supposed to suppress the normal nocturnal production of the hormone melatonin (which rests and awakens the body at the right time), leading to increased breast cancer. Light pollution also causes lot of damage to several birds, insects, marine life etc.

The whole world appears to desperately catch up with USA, with out realizing the seriousness of their problems. It is worth recalling the efforts of Kalle Lasn, founder of the Adbuster magazine and the author of the book “Culture Jam” who highlights on the toxic effects of advertisements on the mind. What we can do to stop this corporate attack on the society? What we can do to stop this rot? Yes! Every body can participate in this movement. Buy only if you really need some thing. Never buy for status or for competition and avoid buying corporate and branded goods. Let us realize that we have to pay the price for every thing we get although we cannot get everything for a price. Let not the consumerism consume the consumer. The Ancient Indian concepts of science never permitted such extravagance, vulgar affluence or vandalism of the earth and its resources.
Lecture 47
The Earth, Gaia and Bhumata
According to Modern Science Earth is one of the nine (or eight?) planets that revolves round the Sun, our nearest star. Earth is made up of matter in three different forms solid, liquid and gas. We also recognize a biosphere which is the global sum of all ecosystems, which is also called the zone of life on Earth. That means Earth contains life but Earth itself is lifeless. More than that, the Earth contains enormous resources ever ready to be exploited by man for his unlimited needs and greed. This concept has taken a severe battering in the recent years when serious environmental problems have cropped up with decreasing biomass and dangerous increase of green house gases, leading to numerous problems including global warming and climate change. As a natural consequence or by a strange coincidence, the economic model of the West, in particular that of US, which the entire developing world was eager to emulate, collapsed like a pack of cards, at least slowing down a mindless ruination land and people in the name of development. Even in the West, there were and are great scientists and thinkers who are opposed to the mindless growth of modern science and technology.

Then comes a great relief in the form of James Lovelock’s Hypothesis (which is now accepted as a theory) of Gaia. What is Gaia? In simple terms there is a living being bigger, more ancient, and more complex than anything we have imagined and that is Gaia, and that is the Earth. A billion years after its formation, our planet was occupied by a meta-life form which began an ongoing process of transformation. All the life forms of the planet are part of Gaia. The life forms of earth in their diversity co-evolve and contribute interactively to produce and sustain the optimal conditions for the growth and prosperity not of themselves, but of the larger whole, Gaia. That the very makeup of the atmosphere, seas, and terrestrial crust is the result of radical interventions carried out by Gaia through the evolving diversity of living creatures.

Unlike in the case of Venus and Mars who are in dead equilibrium, Earth is "far from equilibrium state”. The difference is Gaia, which transforms the outer layer of the planet into environments suitable to its further growth. By the nature of its activity Earth seemed to qualify as a living being. The biota and the biosphere taken together form a part but not all of Gaia. Gaia has continuity with the past back to the origins of life, and in the future as long as life persists.”

Lovelock points out that Gaia, being ancient and resourceful enough to have carried out these successive changes of the planet, is herself probably not endangered by the human foul play, so to say. Rather, the danger is to the human race, not only from our own actions, but also by Gaia's reaction to them. If taken advantage of, the idea of Gaia may facilitate the task of converting destructive human activities to constructive and cooperative behavior.

Looking at these arguments we cannot but agree with some of the most popular and accepted theses about the universe and in particular the Mother earth that are conceptually and qualitatively superior as mentioned in Vedas, Upanishads, Puranas and Darsanas of ancient India. The fact that the forces of Nature are personified and deified to create a sense of awe and discipline among the people does not in any way reduce their scientific spirit. In India some people when the get up from the bed and land their feet on the ground pray “O Goddess Vishnu Patni (Bhumata or Mother Earth), please forgive me for putting my feet on you!” When they dig the Earth they say “Oh mother Earth, when we dig you and put a plant please allow it grow well.

In the process may we not trespass or hurt you.” Whenever there is a construction on the ground, it is invariably started with “Bhumipuja”, worship of the Earth. There are countless references in the scriptures where great respect is shown to Bhumata.

n fact it would have been easier for an Indian scientist to propose a similar theory of Bhumata being a giant living organism, if only our scientists had the conviction and courage and if only we had a little respect for our ancient Indian sciences. Such an initiative from any scientist of our country prior to James Lovelock’s hypothesis would have commanded as much respect as the work of Sir C.V.Raman or Jagdish Chandra Bose. It is often asked if India was a great civilization going back to millennia how come it is so under developed? Any sensible person will understand that if modern science and technology brought the earth to the brink of disaster in just about 200-300 years, one could imagine what would have happened to Mother Earth with this kind of science and technology in five thousand years or even more. The Vedic concepts of science never permitted vandalism of the earth and its resources. Drawing the resources from the Earth is supposed to be done as painlessly as we draw milk from a cow. If a baby under breast feeding hurts the mother it gets spanked spontaneously. But the mother’s love is not at all tainted by this act. So is the case with Mother Earth. Her reactions to our misdeeds in the form of earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanic eruptions, hurricanes, landslides and wildfires are perhaps compulsory, optimal and done as a duty to maintain order in Nature.

Let the Earth be peaceful – Pridhvi Shantih.
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