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Lecture Series in Ancient Indian Sciences
Lecture 70
Sanskrit- the savior of the Soul
Sivo rakshatu geervaanabhaashaa rasaasvaada tatparan.
Dr. T. S. Ramakrishna
Dr. S. Jeevananda Reddy

India is a unique country and Indian culture is a unique culture. In this country people believe that just to be born a human being - among all the 8,400,000 species of living beings - itself is among the highest gifts of God. They also believe that the three goals of righteous living, acquisition of noble wealth and fulfilling ethical desires will lead to the fourth and the highest goal, which is the liberation of the Soul.

Sanskrit or Samskrutam, which is rightly called the language of Gods, is not merely a language to communicate with outside world but a means to connect with the inner self and thus with the Supreme Self. Sanskrit is supposed to have been generated by Lord Brahma and first passed on to Rishis in the divine plane and then to their disciples on the earth. The word ‘Samskrutam’ (or Sanskrit) means "refined, decorated or produced in perfect form. Many have spent their entire lives in mastering this great language.

The entire ancient Indian literature whether it is arts, science, philosophy or rituals and mantras is hidden in Sanskrit. Each letter, pronounced properly, becomes a vehicle for conveying a basic elemental power. Considering the ancient Indian philosophy that the entire universe is a manifestation of the primal energy “Pranava” emanating from one source – the Supreme Consciousness, the effect of sound on the individual consciousness or the Soul can be easily understood. The science of Mantra Yoga helps us in raising the individual consciousness to the level of Universal or Supreme Consciousness. . Among the innumerable Mantras in Sanskrit, the simplest and most potent mantra is Om or Aum, which is also prefixed with all other mantras. Modern life is full of stress. Chanting of the Mantra Om in the form of Omkara pranayama removes the toxins from the body during exhalation and energizes the body during inhalation. Regular practice of this leads to enhancement of Sattvic qualities and perfection of the Soul.

Sanskrit is the best vehicle to carry man towards enlightenment and make him understand his position and stature in this Universe. Speaking Sanskrit not only generates energy but also removes illness. A person who loves and respects Sanskrit automatically develops a respect for Nature and lives in harmony with it. Such a man will lead a simple, happy, contended and less polluted and less polluting life and thus equips himself for liberation of his soul.

Srimad Bhagavad Gita which is considered the essence of all Ancient Indian wisdom divides all people in the world by nature into three groups: Sattvics, Rajasics and Tamasics. While Sattvic people are knowledgeable, selfless, service oriented and unaffected by the dualities of Nature, Rajasics are self centered, action oriented and highly vulnerable to the dualities of Nature, leading to degeneration of the soul. On the other hand, the Tamasics are incredulous of all established and proven traditions only to avoid work and responsibility because they suffer from inertia and sleep, resulting in the gradual destruction of the soul. Srimad Bhagavad Gita says Sattvics rise, Rajasics get stuck in the subroutine of births and deaths and Tamasics degenerate and fall into the foulest of hells.

Urdhvam Gachhanti satvasthah Madhye tishtanti raajasah
Jaghanya guna vrittisthah Adho gachhanti tamasaah (Gita 14-18)
May the light and wisdom of the divine language Sanskrit enhance Sattva in the world and save our souls!

Lecture 69
Perspectives on Indology
Dr. K. Aravinda Rao
 Dr. K. Aravinda Rao

Throughout history, India and its culture were matters of great interest to several outsiders. The vast sub-continent, in spite of its several tiny kingdoms, had a common culture which pervaded the entire sub-continent as can be seen from several descriptions in the epics, the Mahabharata, the Ramayana and other texts. The earliest visitors such as Huen Tsang, Fa Hien, Al Biruni and several others who wrote about India can be technically called the early indologists. Cultural exchanges went on smoothly.

The most important visitors are the Europeans who colonized the Asian countries right from the 17th century onwards. The traders and colonists were also accompanied by genuine scholars who studied the cultures of the countries they colonized. Several early scholars studied the scriptures and became great admirers of the Indian intellectual heritage. Eminent philosophers such as Schopenhauer were deeply influenced. The early American thinkers Emerson, Thoreau were great admirers.

A country can be studied from two angles – a) its philosophical, scientific and intellectual achievements and b) its social institutions, sociological issues and fault lines. The colonial rulers were also accompanied by the missionaries and hence it became imperative for them to denigrate the religion and culture of the society which they had to rule. Social issues like caste and untouchability were effectively attributed to religion and exploited by the colonial writers. The impact of Indian reformers such as Swami Dayananda (of Aryasamaj), Raja Ram Mohan Roy and others was both positive and negative. Criticism on caste and untouchability were welcome reforms in the society but the writings of the reformers simultaneously made educated Indians over critical of the entire heritage. The English speaking elite got gradually disconnected from the Indian roots and English education started breeding a loss of self-esteem and created subservience to the English masters.

During the colonial period, several administrators and writers were associated with the missionaries and hence Indian culture became the main target. India’s independence did not change the situation. The Indian elite continued to have colonized mindset and the European countries continued their presence in the form of hundreds of NGO’s, conducting several studies, grooming the Indian intellectuals and exploiting the fault lines to the advantage of missionary and imperialist agencies. Indologists such as Michael Witzel, Wendy Doniger, Paul Courtright, Sheldon Pollock and several others continue to write in highly contemptuous, sometimes vulgar terms, on the Indian scriptures and classics. The left wing Indian scholars were totally guided by these writings and carried these writings to the native languages and prepared ground for a lot of unrest, sense of victimhood and hate. Indian universities became the theatres of unrest. There were conscious experiments networked by the left wing intellectuals to divide the student community into two opposing groups. The traditional writers were blissfully unaware of these writings and the social unrest they have been causing.

The recent series of books by the NRI writer Rajiv Malhotra seem to be sensitizing the Indian scholars about the detrimental effect of the writings of Indologists. They have exposed the weaknesses in the Indian intellectual community and woke them up to face the challenge.

In spite of several hostile writings, genuine seekers continue to admire the wealth of literature in Indian heritage. The task of Indian scholars is to understand the methodology and motivations of the hostile writers and respond with competent research.

Lecture 68
Dr. S. Jeevananda Reddy
Dr. S. Jeevananda Reddy

Climate is what you expect and Weather is what you get. Weather and Climate include temperature, precipitation, wind, relative humidity, etc; and they are inter-related. Weather and Climate vary with “climate system” and “general circulation patterns”. Earth’s climate is dynamic and always changing through natural cycles. What we are experiencing now is part of this system and thus they vary with space and time. Changes in climate are not new. These inbuilt natural variations were there in the past and will be there in the future. Droughts and floods form part of natural variability in climate and form main part of the climate change. These are beyond human control and thus need to adapt to them.

However, with the increased interference of humans on nature, the natural variations are being modified resulting in two types of variations. The first is through greenhouse effect, forming more than half of the global average temperature anomaly since 1951 which includes global warming through anthropogenic causes. The second is through release of aerosols; and through non-greenhouse effect, forming less than half of the global average temperature anomaly. This is referred to as ecological changes which refer to changes in land and water use and cover. The Climate System is dynamic and comprises both urban-heat-island-effect as well as rural-cold-island-effect.

The global average annual temperature is derived from the data series over land and ocean but they present non-uniform distribution both with the space and the time. Systematic measurements over oceans, that covers two-thirds of the globe, started only around 1990 and prior to that the ships used to take observations en-route. Contamination of ocean waters as well as land surfaces is steadily increasing with the times that affect weather and climate. Satellites measured temperature data series are available since 1979. For the same period balloon data series are also available. With all these the past 20 years the trend of global average temperature anomaly showed a hiatus. There is a large difference in temperature anomaly time series constructed by different institutions.

In the global [land and ocean] temperature anomaly data series of 1880 to 2010, the trend presented an increase of 0.6 oC per Century. Over this trend superposed is a 60-year cycle wherein the sine curve varied between - 0.3 oC to and 0.3 oC. Even if we assume global warming component as 50% of the trend, then it is only 0.3 oC per Century. Also, the data is corrupted by having met network concentrated in urban areas and thus overemphasizing urban-heat-island effect and thus underemphasizing rural-cold-island effect. However, this can be overcome with satellite data. It all means that so far the Global warming component is less than 0.15 oC only. It is insignificant when compared to intra-annual and intra-seasonal changes in temperature and thus has little impact on nature. The global warming component was attributed to cause sea level rise, ice melts, glaciers retreat, impact on crop production, extreme weather events, rainfall-monsoon changes, etc. It appears there is no way we can expect these changes with that meager change in temperature. We must realize the fact “ignorance is terrible but exaggeration is dangerous”.

True that Nature/climate system is being destroyed by both natural disasters such as cyclonic activity, earthquakes, volcanic activity, tsunamis, etc; and activities to meet human greed such as wars, oil-gas-water extraction, physical destruction of ecologically sensitive zones and destruction of natural water flow systems, violation of acts or laws, etc. are often attributed to global warming. But this is not the case with flood disasters in Uttarkhand in June 2013; Jammu and Kashmir floods in September 2014; November-December 2015 floods in Chennai in Tamil Nadu and Nellore in Andhra Pradesh; September 2000 floods in Hyderabad in Telangana. All these disasters are associated with the apathy of government agencies as they were unable to control the illegal construction activities along the river banks and converting rainwater channels, rivers, water bodies in to concrete jungle. Now governments are wrongly putting the blame on global warming alone.

Heat and cold waves are also common to certain parts of India in summer and winter in association with the Western Disturbances and part of General Circulation Pattern. The IPCC conclusion in its AR4 Report that the Himalayan Glaciers will melt by 2035 has been withdrawn when UN Secretary General was questioned about the veracity of such pronouncements in 2009. Government informed the Indian Parliament after Paris meet in 2015 that 86.6% of 2181 of Himalayan Glaciers are not receding.

To prove the theories related to global warming and thus climate change conclusively we need to i) have evenly distributed space and time network of stations. ii) distinguish between global average temperature anomaly and global warming iii) distinguish between climate change and global warming iv) identify truncated part of the cyclic variations which lead to misleading inferences and v) control air, water, soil and food pollution.

The lecture (book) also discusses the meteorological cycles in peninsular India and their impact.

Lecture 67
The Benefits of Yogic Sukshma Vyayama
Dr. C.S.R.Prabhu
Director General (Retd.), NIC, Govt. of India,                   
Prof. and Director Research, KMIT, Hyderabad
Dr. C.S.R.Prabhu

Yogic Sukshma Vyayamaa is a unique system of exercises not available anywhere in the world. It is an ancient component of yoga developed and propagated originally by His Holiness Maharishi Karthikeyaji Maharaj who lived for a very long time in the Himalayas up to 1963. He taught the technique to Swami Dhirendra Brahmachari, who in turn propagated it to the modern world. Yogic Sukshma Vyayama comprises of a system of 52 subtle yogic exercises for all parts the body, from head to toes. Daily practice of this set of exercises for about a total time of 30-40 minutes will ensure full health, fitness, agility and mobility of all the organs, limbs and parts of the body till the last day of life. Each and every muscle and joint of bones in the body is exercised with appropriate breathing regulation. Each organ is developed and maintained with perfect health. As against Asanas which may be complex and done on the ground, the Sukshma vyayama is performed only in standing position with appropriate movements like stretching and bending. It is an independent and wholesome set of Yogic exercises, based upon Mudras and Bandhas of Hatha Yoga.

The Hatha Yoga System comprises of five aspects, Sukshma Vyayama being one unique aspect while the other well known aspects are Asanas, Pranayama and Kriyas in addition to Meditation. While Kriyas aim to perform the internal cleaning of the body, the Asanas ensure hormonal balance, flexibility and better blood circulation and Pranayama is the Science of Breath with many many beneficial effects. In Suksma Vyayama some of the principles of Pranayama as regulated breathing are included as appropriate.

The technique of Sukshma Vyayama is sensitive, powerful and scientific besides being so simple that even a ten year old also can easily practice and derive benefit. Practitioners of this unique technique can not only cure themselves of different maladies in the body, but also prevent any kind of ailments and maintain perfect health, strength and fitness.

Lecture 66
A.G.Bhaskara Reddi

All conflicts, individual or collective, are born in the human mind, which is therefore, by itself incapable of resolving them. Achieving abiding peace in the world lies entirely in the domain of the spirit. This is a message to go out to the noble souled peace loving statesmen of today as well as of tomorrow. One needs to rise to a higher consciousness for the purpose as discovered by the Vedic Seers. Stripped of its outer ritualistic shell, the Veda is actually an inner voyage of exploration and discovery in the realm of Consciousness. It is an arduous climb, perhaps not entirely lonely, because the Gita speaks of a responsive descent of the Avatar to lure us forward in this great adventure.

The inner ascent typified in the Veda marks the evolution of man in consciousness whereas the avatarana of the Avatar is revolutionary. When there are forces of Ignorance opposing this descent, the descent can indeed be cataclysmic churning up much turbulence in its wake. Viewed in this context the violence sweeping across the world today seems a cleansing or purgatory movement presaging the birth of a new Yuga and restoration of "Dharma" to its rightful place. Wars are not necessarily evil as long as they are dictated by Dharma. But what Dharma precisely is, is not a matter of mental judgment but an illumination that has to come from above.

Consciousness is explained at some length as the substratum and substance of all existence with its own concrete attributes that are, however, perceivable only when we are able to develop the subtle senses within us.  In its totality of manifestation, it figures as a hierarchy of worlds that range from the highest that is Mahas (Satyam Rtam Brhat) to the most Material placed at the very bottom. Man is uniquely endowed with the presence of this entire range of consciousnesses which he can scale to reach the very summits of existence. It is his vast spiritual treasure denied even to the gods. As he climbs the stair of consciousnesses the mode of his knowledge transforms itself from the Intellectual to the Intuitive to perfect comprehension of the Truth by Identity. This would mean an end forever of all conflicts.

Lecture 65
Diamond Mining and Trade in Ancient and Medieval India
Director (Retd.) Geological Survey of India
E-Mail ID:

Diamonds, known to the mankind from times immemorial, are reported to have been first found in India as revealed from the writings of Kautilya (4th century BC - Arthasastra), Pliny (1st century AD - Natural History), Ptolemy (2nd century AD), Buddhabhatta (5th century? AD- Ratnapariksha), Varahamihira (6th century AD - Brihat Samhita) and others. Many of the ancient Hindu Puranas and great mythological epics like Mahabharata mentioned about diamonds. Diamonds were perhaps introduced to Europe by the army of Greek king Alexander the Great, who had invaded India during 326-327 BC.

There is much uncertainty as to the period when the diamonds were first recovered but it is generally presumed that these have been known for more than 3000 years. India had a long history of diamond mining. During the ancient and medieval times and till the discovery of diamond fields in Brazil in 1725, it was the world's only major source of diamonds. There is no well documented record of details of diamond mining during the ancient period, but accounts of the medieval period (13th - 18th centuries AD) European travellers and traders, and Portuguese and British officials gave vivid description of hectic diamond mining activity of those days. Prominent among them were Marco Polo (13th century), Nicolo de Conti (15th century), Garcia da Orta and Linschoten (16th century), Peter de Lange, Jacques de Coutre, William Methold, Jean Baptiste Tavernier, Henry Howard and Streyansham Master (17th century), Benjamin Heyne, Henry Voysey, James Franklin and Capt. New Bold (19th century). In addition during the 19th - 20th centuries, officers of the Geological Survey of India viz. William King, Bruce Foote, Valentine Ball and Heron and Capt. Munn of the Hyderabad Geological Survey described the diamond fields and type of the materials / rocks mined. Further details on the old mining activity are found in the publications of K.P.Sonor (1930) on the Panna Diamond Mines and N.V.B.S. Dutt (1953) and P.V.Rao (1969) on the Deccan mines. Good amount of information is available in the district gazetteers.

India's pre-eminent position in the world diamond trade in the past was due to intense production from several mines located in southern, central and eastern regions of the peninsular India. Prominent mining areas were situated in the Krishna and Pennar river gravels, Banganapalle conglomerates and Wajrakarur and its surroundings in southern India; Baghain River gravels and Vindhyan conglomerates in the Panna Diamond Belt and Wairagarh conglomerates in central India and the Mahanadi River gravels in eastern India. Of all these, the Deccan mines were world famous under the patronage of Vijayanagar (1336-1570), Bijapur (1489-1686) and Golconda (1518-1687) kingdoms and attracted the attention of Europeans as early as in the 13th century. By 17th century the mining activity was at its best reaching zenith of fame and around this time there were 38 diamond mines, 23 under the Golconda kingdom and 15 under the Bijapur kingdom, all located in modern undivided Andhra Pradesh (AP). The most famous mines were in the Krishna valley in AP and in the Panna Diamond Belt in Madhya Pradesh, which had produced large quantities of diamonds. The foremost and world famous mine in those days was the Kolluru mine on the right bank of the Krishna River (in Guntur district, AP) where 30,000 to 60,000 people were working at different times in 17th century. The Panna mines were worked from the later part of the 16th century during the Mogul rule and the Hirakud mines from the second half of the 18th century.

Mines were under the control of kings as they happened to be the major source of revenue. Stones larger than 10 carats always belonged to king. Most of the mines were worked by digging generally large pits reaching up to 3 to 10 m depth, depending upon the occurrence and type of diamond bearing strata. A few underground workings were driven to reach diamond layers in conglomerates. Pickaxes and crowbars were the tools normally used for digging. Manual labour was employed for sifting of the mined material and washing.

The Deccan mines, more popularly known as 'Golconda Mines', during the reign of Golconda kingdom was referred to as the 'County of Diamonds'. Golconda town became a thriving centre for cutting and polishing and trading of diamonds from middle of 16th century and became known as 'Diamond Capital' of the medieval period. Golconda, Machilipatnam, Madras (Chennai), Vijayanagar (Hampi), Goa and Surat were the major trading centres. Merchants from Gujarat and also from abroad carried out trade in diamonds and other precious stones in Golconda. India during this period traded with Persia (Iran), Mesopotamia (Iraq), Arabia, Burma (Myanmar), Malaya (Malaysia), China and Roman empire through export of diamonds and other precious stones along with textiles and spices. For the diamond industry developed in Europe initially at Venice, Lisbon and Bruges and subsequently at Antwerp, Amsterdam, and London, the Golconda mines were the major source of supply. A few of the European interlopers became very rich through trading of diamonds and rose to very high positions in the East India Company.

The Krishna River mines produced a galaxy of historically world famous diamonds, such as the Koh-I-Noor, (186 ct), the Great Mogul (787 ct), the Pitt or Regent (410 ct), the Orloff (300 ct), the Nizam (440 ct), the Hope (67 ct) and so on. Many of the diamonds were lost during the invasion of Delhi in 1739 by Nadir Shah of Iran. Each of these lustrous diamonds has its own niche in the medieval history of the world. Of all the diamonds, the Koh-i-Noor, referred to as the 'Stone of Destiny', is the most famous and perhaps is the only diamond which fell into many hands without being sold and crossed the borders of several countries and ruled the destinies of many kingdoms. Like the Koh-i-Noor whose history was interwoven with medieval history of India, Iran, Afghanistan and England; the Pitt or Regent and the Hope were associated with the history of France; the Orloff with Russia; the Darya-I-Noor and the Taj-i-Mah with Iran and Sancy with Europe.

The reverberating diamond mining and trade activity declined by the beginning of the 18th century, most probably due to exhaustion of the main deposits, the declining patronage of the waning kingdoms and discovery of diamond fields first in Brazil and subsequently in South Africa, India's relative share of diamond production in the world has become insignificant. However, even today India remains a leading cutting, polishing and trading centre based on the imported diamonds.

Lecture 64
The Relevance of Chanakya's Artha Shastra to Present Day Business Management
Prof. P. Sheshirekha

The 4th Century B.C work on statecraft called Artha Shastra by Chanakya alias Koutilya (350-283 BCE) who was a Professor of Politics & Economics at Taxila University, commands the respect of an epic or a scripture in Indian literature. While countless kings and their ministers might have referred this book for good governance, present day business managers - both in the East and West quote this work frequently for its authoritative guidelines on problems related to numerous administrative, financial and economic matters. This book was supposed to be missing for eight centuries - from 12th to 20th. While this priceless encyclopedic work on governance was brought into the focus of the modernist in 1909 by the eminent Sanskrit scholar Rudrapatna Shamasastry of the Oriental Research Institute of Mysore, an exhaustive commentary by R.P.Kangle with the title "science of politics" was brought out in 1955. As the Sanskrit word Arth has several meanings, authors have taken the liberty of giving different titles for their translations/commentaries hinged on politics, economics, ethics etc.

Chanakya's original book contains 15 chapters 150 sections and 6000 Sutras that cover a phenomenal range of topics that were of great value for a ruler. These chapters are: 1. Concerning Discipline 2.The Duties of Government Superintendents 3.Concerning Law 4. The Removal of Thorns 5. The Conduct of Courtiers 6.The Source of Sovereign States 7. The End of Six-fold Policy 8.Concerning Vices and Calamities 9.The Work of an Invader 10. Relating to War 11.The Conduct of Corporations 12. Concerning a powerful Enemy 13. Strategic means to capture a Fortress 14. Secret means 15. The Plan of a Treatise.

Chanakya's principles or sutras are crisply summed up as: i) Sukhasya moolam dharma - the basis of happiness is righteousness ii) Dharmasya moolam arthah - the basis of righteousness is resource. iii) Arthasya moolam rajyam - the basis of resource is kingdom/land iv) Rajyamoolam indriyajayah - the basis of kingdom/land is rooted in conquering the senses. v) Indriyajayasya moolam vidya/vinayah - conquering the senses is rooted in knowledge and humility.

The economic melt of 2008, unbridled greed of some modern business houses leading to corporate crimes, falling ethics, increasing awareness of the customers of their rights, insistence on transparency in business/governance, corporate social responsibility (CSR) are all forcing major changes in business management all over the world, leading to an increasing emphasis on the study of psychological, philosophical and even spiritual aspects of the society in general and consumers in particular.

There are many concepts from Kautilya's Arthashastra, which are still not known to or not taken seriously by the present day business /governments. It is in this context that Kautilya's Arthashastra is going to gain tremendous relevance and importance in future.

A deeper study of the book will open many new areas of management concepts, which are yet to be explored by modern management pundits. More studies in other areas of corporate management such as strategic management, financial management and human resource management from Kautilya's Arth shastra are likely to be undertaken in the near future.

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