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Lecture Series in Ancient Indian Sciences
Lecture 13
The Effect of Heavenly Bodies on Life on Earth- The Indian Perspective
Jyotisshastram mahapunyam
Pratyakshamapi gopitam
Chandrarkou sakshinautatra
Srouta smartadi sadhanam

The Ancient Indian Science of Jyotisha (which is roughly translated as ‘Astrology’ strongly believes that the Sun as well as its planets strongly affects life on Earth directly as well as indirectly. The Science of Jyotisha is in fact one of the six branches called Vedangas whose knowledge is a pre-requisite to the study of the sacred Vedas- the oldest and most revered treasure of knowledge humans had ever known. It is a great tragedy that while this science is being researched seriously in developed countries like the United States, Germany etc., in India, the country of its very origin, it does not get the due respect, particularly from the westernised ‘intellectuals’.

While the modern sciences is constrained by the limits of accuracy and resolution of experimental verification, Vedic sciences go much beyond by the sheer thought process of the human being. Further, just as in other sciences, there are three main branches in Astrology called Siddhanta (Theory) Hora (personal prediction) and Samhita (general prediction). Failures in personal prediction should be viewed in the same way as failures – for example- in drilling for natural resources or predicting earthquakes or even in reviving a sick man to normal health, which is quite common. Also it is clear from the sloka (poem) above that the purpose of the Jyotisha is much above the short-term predications that people indulge in.

Parasara Hora (the work of Sage Parasara) is the most popular and widely followed text for Jyotisha. The Indian astrology deals with only five of the nine planets in the Solar system (excluding Earth, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto) but includes the Sun (although a star), the Moon (although a satellite of Earth) and two shadow planets called Rahu and Ketu, forming again navagrahas, the nine heavenly bodies. It also deals with 27 stars, which fall into twelve Zodiacal signs. Each of these nine ‘planets’ and zodiacal signs have a specific effect or contribution to life on Earth due to the interaction of cosmic energy with bio energy of the human being. Each of these planets is also identified with a precious stone, a metal, colour, particular part of the body etc.

The lecture will elaborate on the effects of the heavenly bodies not only on humans but also on other living organisms, natural phenomenon like climate, hurricanes, earthquakes, even growth of crops and price fluctuation of commodities.
Lecture 12
Discovery of Bioactives From Taditional Indian Drugs- New opportunities and Recent Successes (NOVEL NATURAL DRUGS- A UNIQUE INDIAN DISCOVERY PROGRAMME)
Dr K V Raghavan, FNAE
Scientist in Director’s Grade & Former Director, Indian Institute of Chemical Technology, Hyderabad 500 007. The Indian pharmaceutical industry is quite vibrant but depends primarily on manufacture and formulation of molecules discovered elsewhere. From 2005, product patents in India will be promoted, thus, restricting the manufacture of recently introduced drugs in the world. This would adversely influence the role played by India in the international healthcare. The obvious solution for India would be to discover new molecules, new drug delivery systems and new formulations. However, the discovery and commercialization of a new molecule requires more than 10 years and costs around 800 million dollars.

The foundations and principles of healthcare are well enshrined in ancient Indian scriptures. Indian sages propagated a holistic vision of health carrying the philosophy of health beyond the currently held vision of physical, mental and social well being. The ISM is, thus, endowed with a wealth of knowledge created through observation, sustained practice and well-conceived principles. Realizing this potential and to overcome the major constraints of time and costs of modern drug discovery and yet India discovering new therapeutics for world healthcare on as sustained basis, the Council of Scientific & Industrial Research (CSIR), with its 38 laboratories located all over India, developed and followed a special strategy based on pooling of scientific strengths and resources.

The CSIR Coordinated Programme (CCP) has no parallel in the world in terms of its size, diversity and access to talent and resources. While most of the drug research programmes elsewhere in the world have basic objective of validating the traditional knowledge in terms of modern science, the CCP has moved one step forward by focusing its attention on designing and developing totally new herbal formulations as well as single molecules or their synergistic combinations for global drug market. Another unique feature of CCP is subjecting all bioresources including traditional drug preparations to biological screens for 18 diseases irrespective of whether they were reported to possess such activities. This approach has helped to unravel the unknown strengths of ISM drugs in terms of their multiple activities. The CCP has also shown the commitment and faith of Indian government in the combined wisdom of its scientific institutions and traditional schools of Indian medicines. At attempt is being made to highlight the activities and achievements of CCP in this presentation
Lecture 11
Bharadwaja’s Vimana Sastra- Ancient Aerospace Technology
Dr. C.S.R.Prabhu,
Sr.Technical Director,National Informatics Centre, Hyderabad
The lecture focuses on the Bharadwaja Vimana Shastra otherwise known as Vaimanika Prakarana of Yantra Sarvasva by Bharadwaja , as dictated by Pandit Shri Subbaraya Shastry during 1911 – 1922.

The Vimana Shastra is a treatise on aerospace technology of ancient India. It also deals with the layers of atmosphere, routes in space, space phenomena (such as meteors), rocket propulsion, etc. The text deals in detail with metallurgy, giving the procedures for preparation for more than 100 materials of various categories such as alloys, ceramics, glasses, etc. It also deals extensively with mechanisms of flight and also jet propulsion, using nozzle for steam and gas. It also deals with solar and chemical sources of energy. It deals with more than 30 yantras or mechanical and electrical systems and instrumentation, which can be used, in the Vimana for various purposes. Some of these yantras are known today in modern technology but many of these yantras are not known today in modern technology. They depict an advanced technological infrastructure and practice. For example, there is a yantra on ranging of underground objects from space. There is a description of Triupura Vimana, a craft that can travel in three different media viz. water, land and space. Some people including the speaker have taken up experimental investigations into the veracity of technology described in Vimana Shastra. Some of the of the materials have been successfully produced in laboratory and they have been characterized to possess properties matching the description in the text and surprisingly not known in the same form in the modern technology. This gives the strength of the veracity to the text with material evidence. All these issues will be presented in the lecture.
Lecture 10
Sustainable Agricultural Development Based on Vedic Concepts and Literature
Dr. Y. L. Nene
“Sustainable agriculture should involve successful management of resources for agriculture to satisfy changing human needs while maintaining or enhancing the quality of the environment and conserving natural resources.”

Vedas represent knowledge. Orginally we had three Vedas: Rigveda, Yajurveda, and Samveda. The fourth Veda, Atharvaveda, was added later. Each of the Vedas has two distinct parts: the Mantra or Samhita and Brahmana. Ayurveda is the science of health or medicine, and is regarded as a supplement to Atharvaveda. Vrikshayurveda is the science of plant health and ‘medicine’.

There are several references to agriculture in the Vedas. Some of the relevant concepts revealed are: (i) humans are a part of the complex universe and intimacy of humans with nature is a matter of great joy, (ii) natural forces and humans should exist in harmony, (iii) respect for animate and inanimate objects, leading to conservation practices and judicious management, (iv) gratitude to all useful objects, (v) guests are to be treated as gods, (vi) reconciliation between conflicting ideologies of materialism and spiritualism, and (vii) recycling of matter.

Some of the ancient texts containing Vedic thoughts are: Rigveda, Krishi-Parashara, Kautilya’s Arthashastra, Manusmriti, Agnipurana, Brhat-Samhita by Varahamihira, Kashyapiya-Krishisukti, and Vrikshayurveda by Surapala.

The speaker will cite information from the Vedic texts to support the conclusion that it is possible to ensure sustainable agriculture in future through Vedic concepts.
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