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Apples are one of the most delicious and nutritious of fruits, relished in every nook and corner of this planet. They have been cultivated all across the World, across places and times. There are more than 7500 varieties of this fruit that come in colours such as red, green and yellow.
A Sample of the different varieties of apple
In India, the two states of Himachal Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir abound in Apples and Apple trees.
An Apple Tree in Himachal Pradesh, the Apple Garden of India.
This fruit is known as Phalaprabhedah in Samskrt.
The term Apple was a generic word for all other fruits, in the European languages, during the medieval period.
|Old English||Cucumber||Earth Apples|
|In Some European Languages||Tomatoes||Love Apples|
|In Some European Languages||Oranges||Golden Apples|
|In Some European Languages||Datura||Thorn Apple|
There is a fruit by name of Wood Apple, known as Bael, in Samskrt and as Valampazam in Tamil. This fruit is also known by other names such as Elephant Apple and Monkey Fruit. It has the name Wood Apple, due to its hard wooden shell. It is known as Elephant Apple, because it is the favourite fruit of the elephants.
Then, there is the fruit called Custard Apple, also known as Sweet Apple. This fruit is known as Sitaphal in Hindi. It is known by this name, as the legends tell us that it was this fruit that Devi Sita mainly had during Her Vanvas, exile,
Thus we see that, the word “Apple” has a wider connotation.
The popularity of Apple stems from ancient times.
Apple has been associated with many legends across the world.
In the Bible, we have the story of Adam and Eve, who were forbidden by God to eat the apple of knowledge of good and evil. They eventually did, tempted by a serpent, and after which they became ordinary humans.
So, while Apple denotes positivity in most cultures, there are some religions that consider it as representing evil.
Apples is often associated with temptation.
Adam and Eve eating Apple
The legend states that the Apple got stuck in Adam’s throat. A tradition today exists in the West, of referring to the chunk of bony cartilage that’s wrapped around the larynx, as Adam’s apple. It is more prominently visible on men’s throat, and is the biologically defining part in a male.
We have often heard the phrase, “Apple of One’s Eye”, referring to the object of one’s affection. Apple here denotes love, and is a symbol of love in some cultures.
Venus, the Roman Goddess of love, beauty and fertility is show as holding an Apple.
Goddess Venus, holding an Apple
Then there is the popular story of William Tell shooting an Apple of his son’s head.
The story goes that in 1307, an agent of the Hapsburg Duke of Austria placed a Hapsburg hat on a pole and commanded the people passing by to remove their caps.
William Tell refused.
He was then ordered to shoot an Apple off his son’s head with an arrow, and if he failed to do so, then his son and he would both be put to death.
William Tell agreed and succeeded in hitting the Apple off his son’s head with a single shot.
William Tell successfully shot Apple off his son’s head
The discovery of Gravity also happened under an Apple Tree. The story goes that he came up with the concept of gravity under an apple tree in Cambridge University. This apple tree is preserved and safeguarded in Cambridge University.
Sir Issac Newton under an Apple Tree
The word gravity has an agnate word in the Samskrt, where it is referred to as Gurutva. In India, the word and concept of gravity has existed as Gurutva and Gurutvaakarshana respectively.
The root word Guru denotes ‘heavy, big and influencing’ and Akarshana means, ‘the power of attraction’. The word Guru and Gurutava means to attract. It is the root word for the English word gravity.
More on Gurutvaakarshana, in our books, “2012 – the Real Story” and “Breaking The Myths – Vol-4 – About Ability”.
Samuel Evan Stokes was the Englishman who introduced apple crop in the valley around Shimla, the Kotgarh valley, in 1916.
Apple Orchads in Kotgarh
Samuel Evan Stokes later converted to Hinduism and thereafter changed his name to Satyanand Stokes.
Samuel Evan Stokes
His daughter-in law, Vidya Stokes today live on, and has been an active member of the Indian National Congress from 1970. She was elected to the Himachal Pradesh Legislative Assemble in 1974, 1982, 1985, 1990, 1998, 2003, 2007, and 2012. That makes her an 8 time MLA.
The popularity of apples soon spread, and which encouraged the locals into planting Apples, rather than their usual crops of potato and plums.
The demands for apples grew from then on and orchards cropped up all over the valley of Himachal Pradesh, and spread to the neighboring state of Jammu and Kashmir.
Today, there exists a strong trade between these two states.
There is a negative side to this apple trade.
There exists an Apple mafia in the trade between Kashmir and Pakistan Occupied Kashmir, across the Line of Control, through Muzaffarabad. Under invoicing and over invoicing has led to illegal money being diverted to assist terrorism in Kashmir for decades. This is the bloody side of the Kashmir Apple story.
Over 1500 Apple trucks move out of Kashmir every day.
The word Apple is today one of the most searched words on the Google, with 68 million global monthly searches, partly due to the most famous brand and company with its name, that produces consumer electronics, computer software and other products.
There also exists a healthy side to the Apple Story. Apples also play a major role in healthy blood circulation. Apples contain pectin, a substance which mitigates the collection of cholesterol along the lining of blood vessels. This maintains a proper blood flow.
Apple is one of the best fruits for weight loss. An apple diet detoxifies your body, boosts your metabolic rate and helps you lose weight. In terms of calorie intake, this diet is low caloric, counting 1000-1200 calories per day.
Beriberi was rampant in 1800s in England, a disease caused by thiamine – Vitamin B deficiency. There are two types of Beriberi disease, namely wet Beriberi.
Wet Beriberi affects the heart and circulatory system. Dry Beriberi damages the nerves and can lead to a loss of muscle strength and eventually muscle paralysis. This disease is life threatening if not treated.
The Allopathic doctors then did not have any clue as to how to treat this disease. One of the child patients of this disease showed a liking to apple, and more precisely apple peel. The doctor did not discourage the child from eating the apple skin. Over the next few month, the child showed remarkable recovery from Beriberi.
That is when doctor realized that some ingredient in Apple that made the difference, which on later examination and scientific study came to be recognized as Vitamin thiamine which helped in curing Beriberi disease of the phase of England in 1800s,
It was after this incident that the proverb “Apple A Day keeps the Doctor”, became popular.
The health benefits of an Apple is aptly brought by this proverb.
As per Ayurveda, it is only the cooked apple that keeps the doctor away. Raw apples can be cold and dry and is not easily digestible, particularly if un-skinned.
Ayurveda also says that chewing apple after a meal, regularizes our stomach, and helps in cleaning our teeth and tongue.
Apples are also used as medicine in Ayurveda, to stop dysentery and diarrhea.
Apple juices act as a brain and nerve tonic, and is a rejuvenator.
The interesting this to ponder here is that if Ayurveda, which is a 5000 year old science of good health, identifies and incorporates the goodness of an Apple, then how can we say that Apples made their Advent in India, only in the early part of the 20th century?
Apple Day has its origin in the United Kingdom. It is an annual celebration of Apples and orchards, held on October 21st. The events related to apple are however held throughout the month.
Apple day is a day to relish and understand the benefits of this fruit, and needs to be universally observed, and not just in England.
Constitution Day is also known as Samvidhan Divas, Sam meaning “equal” and Vidhan, “making, creation”. A Samvidhan, a Constitution stands for a set of laws that facilitates equality and justice in a civilized society. Constitution is an integral part of any democracy, which ensures that people are supreme and shall have equal rights, while being a citizen of that country. The modern English dictionary defines a Constitution as, “a body of fundamental principles or established precedents according to which a state or other organization is acknowledged to be governed.”
While India has its own constitution post independence, Constitution Day is more of a recent origin. The government of India declared 26th November as Constitution Day, on 19th November 2015. This day was earlier observed as National Law Day.
26th November 1949, was the day when the Constitution of India was adopted by the Constituent Assembly. The constitution came into effect on 26th January 1950, the day which is celebrated every year as Republic Day.
The year 2015 had a special significance as it was 125th anniversary of B R Ambedakar who chaired the drafting committee of the Constituent Assembly and played a key role in drafting the constitution.
However Constitution Day need not be seen as a day honouring Ambedkar alone. There were many other prominent people at the helm, who are joint architects of our constitution.
Even a decade before the Indian Constitution was prepared and adopted by the Constituent Assembly, the constitution was already being shaped by someone else and from a different quarter. It was in Tripura!
The last king of Tripura, Bir Bikram Kishore Manikya, notified a constitution having 68 articles, seven parts and three schedules in July, 1941. It came into being at least nine years before the Indian Constitution was adopted.
Maharaja Bir Bikram Kishore Manikya
King Bikram in late 1930s toured many parts of Europe and also met Hitler in Germany. On returning to India, he came to the opinion that monarchy would not continue for much longer in the coming modern age, not just in Tripura, but in whole India as well.
He got down to framing a constitution not just for his kingdom of Tripura but for the whole country. This was a clear 6-7 years even before India was given Independence and even before World War-2.
King Bikram set up a constitution drafting committee in 1939, headed by himself. The contribution of King Bikram’s constitution preparing effort, paved the way for the constitution of India, which was prepared by the constituent assembly, a decade later.
The important features of Tripura’s contribution to Indian constitution being,
It is quite baffling that even during the British rule, the Tripura King, in his written constitution, had made a core concept of democracy.
Dr. Rajendra Prasad, who later went on to become the first President of India, was the president of the Constituent Assembly and played a leading role in the creation of our constitution. He appointed the drafting committee with B R Ambedkar as the chairman, along with six other members and a constitutional adviser. These members were Pandit Govind Ballabh Pant, Kulapathy M Munshi, Alladi Krishnaswamy Iyer, N Gopalaswami Ayengar, B L Mitter, Mohammed. Saadullah and D P Khaitan. The constitutional advisor was Sir Benegal Narsing Rau.
Baba Saheb Ambedkar with Constitution Drafting Committee Members
A draft was prepared by this committee on 4th November 1947, and submitted to the Constituent Assembly, and which was then debated for the next 2 years, with as many as 2000 amendments, before being adopted on 26th November 1949.
Dr. Ambedkar Submitting the First draft of the Indian constitution to Dr. Rajendra Prasad.
The original constitution was handwritten by Prem Behari Narain Raizada in Italic style with beautiful calligraphy. This final version was then signed by all the members of the Constituent Assembly in January 1950, and the constitution came into effect on the 26th of the month, and since then has been the guiding light of this nation.
Prem Behari Narain Raizada writing the constitution
Dr. Rajinder Prashad examining the original Manuscript of Constitution of India presented by Prem Behari Narain Raizada.
Dr. Rajendra Prasad signing the Constitution of India.
Granville Austin, an American author has brought out in detail in his work, The Indian Constitution: Cornerstone of a Nation on how the Indian constitution was framed and why the members of the Constituent Assembly wrote their constitution as they did.
For this work of his, the government of India honoured him with Padma Shri, in 2011.
Dharmasastras are ancient law books of this land, which prescribe moral code of conduct for citizens and a set of guiding principles for jurisprudence.
India had many Dharma Sastras which have been its constitution in ancient times, and which have facilitated in a prosperous and just rule, making “Bharat that is India” one of the few continuous civilizations. The Indian Constitution starts with the phrase, “India that is Bharat….”. ‘Bha’ stands for knowledge and ‘Ratha” means to relish. Bharatha is the land of people who relish knowledge. Bha also means, effulgence, light. Bharath is the land that shines with the effulgence of knowledge and wisdom.
Ironically however, the Constitution of India draws its light, heavily from other countries, and is not drawn from Indian Dharma Sastras.
Influence of other constitutions on Indian Constitution, Source Wikipedia
The Indian sastras like Veda, Purana, the Dharmasastras and other Indian scriptures make for a great exposition of law, and were based on Dharma, the eternal law based on principles of Nature. It is time we draw in from these ancient Dharma Sastras, and adopt them in our constitution, wherever suitable to modern times, to facilitate further the prosperity of this great nation and civilization.
An image of Nataraja in our constitution
Portrait of Queen Lakshmi Bai and Tipu Sultan In Original Copy of Constitution of India
Image of Lord Krishna Having Conversation With Arjuna During Mahabharata War In Original Copy of Constitution of India
The Constitution of India speaks of Uniform Civil Code, in article 44 of the Directive Principle of the Constitution, which says, “The State shall endeavour to secure for citizens a uniform civil code throughout the territory of India.” Uniform Civil Code is the proposal to replace the personal laws based on the scriptures and customs of each major religious community in India with a common set governing every citizen. These laws are distinguished from public law and cover marriage, divorce, inheritance, adoption and maintenance.
This is another aspect of equality that we need to adopt, if we are to truly follow the meaning of Samvidhan as being equal and same for everyone, in its true sense.
India is the largest producer of milk in the world. Milk in India is not just a drink to be had over breakfast, and goes beyond its dietary and nutritional value. The cow is revered as a sacred animal and worshipped as “Go-Mata”, “mother cow”, and the milk it gives is equivalent to ambrosia. Milk in Samskrt is called Ksheer and the sweet pudding that is made with milk and other products is called Kheer.
This association of milk with nectar, sweetness goes back to the legend of Samudra Manthan, when the Ocean of Milk was churned to secure Amrita, ambrosia, and a number of other things from the Ocean. Milk is thus associated with productivity.
One of the beings to have emerged during the churning of the Milk Ocean was Kamadhenu, the divine cow, Kama meaning ‘wish’ and Dhenu ‘to provide’. In Purana, Kamadhenu is revered as the cow that could produce anything and fulfil our needs and requirements. Cow is thus revered in this land as the symbol of prosperity, and the greatest item it gives, is the milk.
The legends of Krishna are replete with Him stealing milk, butter, cream and curds from the houses of gopas and gopis, the cowherds. The milk here is symbol of divine love, as Krishna relished the devotion of the local milk maids in Vrindavan. He is endearingly called Kheer Chora.
Krishna stealing Butter
More on Krishna and the events of His life in our Krishna trilogy, “Historical Krishna”.
Lord Vishnu in the Purana is depicted as lying on a coiled snake, Adishesha in the Ocean of Milk, Ksheera Sagara. This cosmic milk here is akin to the pure consciousness which is churned by divine will to bring about Creation, symbolized by the emergence of Brahma from Narayana. The milk here represents the primordial divinity, from which the whole of universe arose.
Lord Vishnu in Ocean of Milk
More on the Milky Ocean and Creation, in our book and film “Creation-Srishti Vignana”.
The nutritional value of milk and its by-products mean that they are recommended for consumption at every stage of life. Through milk, we can obtain a series of other food products such as butter, cheese, yoghurt and cream, rich in protein. Thus milk is also associated in English vocabulary as “making the best out of a situation or thing”, when we say, “to milk something”.
There are three main varieties of cows, namely, Bos Taurus – the European Jersey cows, Bos Senegus – the African cows and Bos Indicus – the Indian cows.
However, during the British times, “the milking of cows” took on a negative side, when a propaganda was spread by the British administrators that Jersey cows were superior to Indian cows, in terms of quantity and quality.
The low productivity of Indian cows was due to a completely different reason than the breed. The great famines which were artificially thrust on India from the late 1800s by the British, not only starved to death many men, women and children but first, their cows and cattle.
Many healthy, indigenous breeds of cattle of India were lost in these famines. The ones that remained, were too emancipated to produce enough milk or good progeny.
Now, in order to increase the so called “low productivity of Indian cows” as well as increase the number of healthy cows, the semen of the Bos Taurus – Jersey cow was inserted into Indian cow through in-vitro fertilization. The mixed breed offsprings have been called Jersey cows in India.
These mixed breed cows are not native cows and have difficulty in adapting to Indian environment. This difficulty in adapting leads to complex problems which affect the life and milk productivity of these cows.
In reality, the Indian native breeds are overall cost effective, even though the milk yield in some breeds could be lower.
Recent research clearly tells us that the milk given forth by Bos Indicus and Bos Taurus are different on a crucial count.
Milk is consumed by mammals, including humans, for its nutritive value of protein that it offers in the early growth stage, when milk is consumed maximum. Modern research has identified two types of milk proteins, classified as A1 Beta Casein and A2 Beta Casein.
Image courtesy: drjockers.com
A2 Beta Casein is the kind of milk protein found in human milk, goat milk, sheep milk and in the milk of the Indian cows, the Bos Indicus. This variety of milk has been found to be of higher beneficial value to humans, next only to mother’s milk.
In contrast, the Jersey cows, which come under the Bos Taurus category, give milk protein of A1 Beta Casein variety. A1 Beta Casein is suspected to cause Autism, Schizophrenia, Stomach ulcer, Ulcerative Colitis, Crohn’s disease and so on.
The other animal whose milk contains high values of A1 Beta Casein protein, is pig.
Due to such ill effects of milk, seen in the western world where only the Bos Taurus cows are prominent, many researchers and doctors the worldover, have declared milk to be harmful to human health in the long run.
But sadly, without differentiating the A2 Beta Casein milk of the Bos Indicus from the A1 Beta Casein milk of the Bos Taurus, milk in general is now being viewed suspiciously by Indians too.
Tests conducted specifically on the two different species of cows, using the scientific lacto process, show that, not only is the milk of Bos Indicus, the native Indian cow, not detrimental to health, but on the other hand is actually nutritive in nature.
The Indian cow’s milk has been found to be nutritive and nourishing to humans, especially babies.
It is this beneficial nature that has been extolled right from the Veda, to the lores of the land. While the yield of the Indian native breed may be lower, it seems to be most ideally suited for India, on account of
With the efforts of the National Dairy Development Board, Dr. Verghese Kurien, called the ‘milk man of India’, started an initiative called Operation flood in 1970 at Anand, Gujarat.
Dr. Verghese Kurien
Operation flood logo
The logo of the National Dairy Development Board has the hump unique to the Bos Indicus cows, from a Harappan seal.
National Dairy Development Board logo
In its early days, when Dr. Verghese Kurien had approached one of the multinational companies who specialized in milk production among their other activities, to help India in bringing this White Revolution, an official of that company is reported to have haughtily replied that, he
“would not allow natives to handle a sensitive commodity like milk”.
Couple of decades down the line, after the roaring success of the cooperative effort in making India the highest milk producer in the world, the same official came to congratulate Kurien on the effort. Dr. Kurien is reported to have reparted,
“What do you think of the natives now?”
Dr. Kurien Verghese is today honoured as the ‘Father of White Revolution’, and his birth anniversary on 26th November is aptly observed as “National Milk Day” every year.
A crucial year it was, the year 1675 CE; the free thought, of the people of the land was trampled by the Mughals.
It was during that period, a delegation of about 500 Kashmir Pundits led by Pundit Kripa Ram met Guru Tegh Bahadur at Anandapur Saheb with their harrowing experiences and tales of torture by Aurangzeb, forcing Hindus to convert to Islam.
Guru Tegh Bahadur
Pundat Kripa Ram approaching Tegh Bahadur
The choice was “Convert-Or-Perish”.
Guru Tegh Bahadur took upon himself the task of rescuing not just the Kashmir Pundits but the entire society.
But why Aurangzeb, was bent upon converting the Kashmir Pundits in the first place?
Aurangzeb vexed with the enigma, of thriving Hindu presence in, despite centuries of Muslim rule, vis-à-vis, the total annihilation of native cultures in other Muslim lands, called his Court to order one day and beseeched them for a solution. His council of advisors then suggested, that, the Seat of Hindu thought and inspiration must be identified and destroyed; they conclusively opined that, this was the only sure way of ensuring that the perennial flow of faith is put to an end.
Having said that, Varanasi, Kasi was identified as the Seat of Hindu faith and the Brahmins of Varanasi, were identified as its custodians.
They were pulled up tortured and asked to convert.
Aurangzeb then, repeated the same torture, formula on the Kashmiri Pundits.
The Sikhs were looked up to as the martial force of the land, were approached by the Kashmir Pundits.
Sikhs being approached
Gobind Rai, who later became the tenth and the last Sikh Guru, the force behind the Khalsa movement, the beacon who showed the world, what, unquestioned obedience is, by way of the “panch-pyaara” –was at that time, 9 years old and was sitting beside his father, Guru Tegh Bahadur.
Guru Gobind Singh
Guru Tegh Bahadur, gallantly took upon himself, the, responsibility of protection.
He asked the Kashmir Pundits, to go and tell Aurangzeb that,
Delighted at such an easy solution of converting the entire lot of Hindus into Islam, Aurangzeb invited Guru Tegh Bahadur to Delhi. Guru Tegh Bahadur along with his disciples Bhai Mati Das, Bhai Sati Das and Bhai Dyal Das, went to Delhi and met Mughal Aurangzeb.
Guru Tegh Bahadur, held extensive discussions on Religious, Philosophical, Spiritual, Logical, Scientific and even on mundane matters to dissuade Aurangzeb from converting Hindus to Islam.
Aurangzeb was deeply disappointed and disillusioned and seething with vengeance made two offers to Guru Tegh Bahadur:-
The great Guru preferred beheading than to convert to Islam.
Aurangzeb, the so called ‘Embodiment of Benevolence’, as described by our History books, ordered that Guru Tegh Bahadur and disciples should be killed.
This henious act was carried out on 24.11.1675.
In the presence of Guru Tegh Bahadur, his disciples were done to death one after the other.
Bhai Mati Das was cut into two halfs by slicing through head downwards.
Mati Das while standing erect was tied between two posts. He was asked if he had any parting words, to which Mati Das answered, “I request only that my head be turned toward my Guru as I am executed.” Two executioners placed a double-handed saw on his head. Mati Das serenely uttered “Ek Onkar” and started reciting the Japji Sahib, the morning prayer of the Sikhs. He was sawed across from head downwards.
Bhai Mati Das being cut into two
Sculpture depicting Mati Das, sawn into pieces after he refused to convert to Islam in Aurangzeb’s court
Dayal Das abused the Emperor and his courtiers for this act. He was tied up like a round bundle and thrown into a huge cauldron of boiling oil. He was boiled alive into a block of charcoal.
Dayal Das being boiled alive
Sati Das condemned these brutalities. He was wrapped round with cotton and burnt alive and then he was hacked to pieces limb by limb.
Sati Das being burned alive
Then Guru Tegh Bahadur was beheaded.
Guru Tegh about to be beheaded
All this happened on 24th November, 1675 AD at Chandni Chowk under the orders of Emperor Aurangzeb.
Now the questions arise:-
They suffered and sacrificed so that we can live in accordance with our native practises.
How many of us know all this?
How many even know the name of the Martyr Guru Tegh Bahadur? Is it not our duty to pay respects to the great Souls?
This haloed location, where they were martyred is now venerated as Sis Ganj Gurudwara situated in Chandini Chowk in Old Delhi.
Sis Ganj Gurudwara
He is the father of Bengali fiction. IEEE honoured him as one of the fathers of radio science. A crater on the moon is named after him. A polymath, biologist, physicist, botanist, biophysicist, archaeologist all rolled into one, and also a writer of English fiction. He was India’s first modern scientist and the first scientist to scientifically show that plants too are living beings and have similar life cycles and functions like animals. As a biophysicist, he invented the crescograph, an instrument for measuring the growth of plant. When we speak of the contributions of this multidimensional scientist, words are found lacking. He is today reverentially known as Acharya Jagadish Chandra Bose.
Acharya Jagadish Chandra Bose
J C Bose came into this world on November 30th, 1858, at Munishiganj, Bengal Presidency, in today’s Bangladesh. He started his education in a Bengali vernacular school.
Bose gives us a glimpse into his childhood upbringing, at the Bikrampur Conference speech of his in 1915. This is recorded in the book ‘Jagdish Chandra Bose’, a biographical account by Vishvapriya Mukherji.
“At that time, sending children to English schools was an aristocratic status symbol. In the vernacular school, to which I was sent, the son of the Muslim attendant of my father sat on my right side, and the son of a fisherman sat on my left. They were my playmates. I listened spellbound to their stories of birds, animals and aquatic creatures. Perhaps these stories created in my mind a keen interest in investigating the workings of Nature. When I returned home from school accompanied by my school fellows, my mother welcomed and fed all of us without discrimination. Although she was an orthodox old-fashioned lady, she never considered herself guilty of impiety by treating these ‘untouchables’ as her own children. It was because of my childhood friendship with them that I could never feel that there were ‘creatures’ who might be labelled ‘low-caste’. I never realized that there existed a ‘problem’ common to the two communities, Hindus and Muslims.”
Bose joined the Hare School in 1869 and then St. Xavier’s School at Kolkata. He graduated from the Xavier’s college, Calcutta University in 1879 and left for England to pursue a course in medicine. However, due to health issues, he had to discontinue this course, as the odour in the dissection room worsened his health situation. He secured admission into Christ College in Cambridge, to pursue natural science, and received the Natural Science Tripos Certificate from Cambridge University and a Bachelor’s degree in Science from London University.
Bose subsequently began his scientific research, which he pursued with full vigour, despite facing many hurdles, including racial discrimination and fund shortage.
He soon achieved great success in remote wireless signalling and was the first to use semiconductor junctions to detect radio signals. The magnanimity of Bose was such that he did not go for patent for this invention of his, but made his inventions public, for others to further his research. This led to Guglielmo Marconi doing further research on radio transmission, and being credited as ‘the inventor of Radio’, when the actual credit should have gone to Acharya Bose.
Acharya J C Bose, the first to demonstrate Radio Waves
The other major contribution of Bose was in Plant Psychology. Here his own invention, crescograph came in handy as he used it to measure plant responses to various stimuli. He scientifically proved the similarity between plant and animal tissues, and thereby also proved that even plants experienced pain and other sensations.
Bose also performed a comparative study of the fatigue response of various metals and organic tissue in plants.
Apart from research in plants, Bose also went into the behavior of metals.
Sister Nivedita was a Scots – Irish social worker, author, teacher and a disciple of Swami Vivekananda. She and J C Bose had great mutual respect for each other. Sister Nivedita actively encouraged the scientist in his research works.
She throws light in one of her articles on Bose’s research and findings on metals:
An Extract from Sister Nivedita’s article
In this field, his two major works include Response in the Living and Non-Living and The Nervous Mechanism of Plants.
The other works being,
In 1917, he founded the Bose Institute one of the earliest and perhaps the first modern research institute in India.
Bose Institute, Kolkata
Bose subsequently delivered many lectures on his scientific research and discoveries, in India and other parts of the world.
Bose lecturing on the “Nervous System” of plants at the Sorbonne in Paris in 1926
Bose also excelled in another field and it is science fiction. In 1896, Bose authored Niruddesher Kahani, The Story of the Missing One, which was one of first works in Bengali Science fiction.
Bose held many honours and positions during the course of his life. Some of them being,
Today, his legacy stands tall as he is credited with the invention of the first wireless detective device, and also with the discovery of sensations and feelings in plant life. Acharya Bhavan, the residence of Bose, built in 1902, has been converted into a museum, which houses many of the instruments that he used. These include antennas, waveguides and polarizers, and remains to be used even to this day.
Acharya Bhavan Museum
In 1958, the government of India issued a stamp in his name.
The Indian Botanical Garden was renamed in his honour as Acharya Jagadish Chandra Bose Indian Botanical Garden in 2009.
Acharya Jagadish Chandra Bose Botanical Garden
In 2012, Bose’s millimeter band radio was recognized as IEEE Milestone in electrical and computer engineering, a unique recognition for a discovery in India.
While summing up the legacy and life of Acharya Jagadish Chandra Bose, it will be apt to say that, He is one of the architects of Modern India, especially in the scientific sphere.
Come November and it is time to celebrate the Gita. 22nd November as per the English calendar and Margashira Shukla Paksha Ekadashi day, i.e. the 11th phase of the bright fortnight of the Margashira month as per the Indian calendar, is the day to commemorate the birth of the Gita.
Who or which Gita are we referring to here?
It is the Bhagavad Gita, which has been the literature of this civilization, this land and this nation since we can all remember.
It is the Gita which has been playing many roles in the lives of Indians, since the times of Krishna, who delivered it and left it behind to guide the people for long after His own lifetime.
In the court one swears by the Gita. This practice has been going on for over 200 years. That makes it the nationally accepted book, both on a personal count and as well as being legally tenable. Not accepting the truth after swearing on the Gita, amounts to perjury.
All these were in practice, much before the words secularism and pseudo secularism came to vogue in India.
The Bhagavad Gita answers one’s many queries, both from the Sthoola, bodily level and from the Sukshma, the subtle, ethereal level.
Upa means “near” and adesha means “instruction”. Upadesha is the instruction received by a disciple, sitting close to his master.
Krishna while delivering the Bhagavad Gita to Arjuna says,
“I taught this to Vivasvan, who in turn passed it on to Vaivasvata Manu, from whom it was passed on to Ikshvaku, after which it was lost in the passage of time. As this knowledge is since lost, I, Krishna, son of Vasudeva am giving it you Arjuna, on this battlefield.”
The teaching of Krishna, was applicable not only to Arjuna and the situation that he was in, but is also applicable to each one of us today even after so many millennia. Through the medium of this dialogue between Krishna and Arjuna, mankind, to this day, continues to enjoy and benefit from the most comprehensive guide to right living in this Universe.
This Bhagavad Gita discourse by Krishna shows Him in the light of one of the foremost spiritual teachers of mankind. His teachings through the Gita have remained a universal guide to mankind across many millennia, inspiring and leading many to walk the path of duty and righteousness.
The uniqueness of Bhagavad Gita lies in the fact that it was given on a battle field, at the beginning of the battle between the Pandava and the Kaurava at Kurukshetra.
On the day of the war the armies are lined up, ready to fight, waiting for the signal to start the battle.
At this juncture, standing at the head of the Pandava Army, facing the war giants on the Kaurava side, Arjuna, the archer par excellence and the main warrior for the Pandava forces, is troubled by serious doubts.
He sees that in front of him, the opponents whom he has to engage in battle and kill, are his own Guru – Dronacharya, his Grand Sire – Bheeshma, his own cousins – the Kaurava and other known friends.
Arjuna then questions Krishna, his friend, cousin, confidante and mentor in life, now in the role of his charioteer, of the paradoxical need to shed blood of his near and dear ones, only to establish rights over a kingdom. He asks Krishna as to why he should fight for the kingdom, if all his near and dear were to perish in the same war?
Kurukshetra battle to start
Krishna then takes on the role of a philosopher, a teacher and explains to Arjuna the meaning of life, this creation, this universe and man’s role in it. Krishna dwells exhaustively on the concept of the soul and its relation to the body, the concept of the body and its relation to the acts it performs, the concept of these acts and their relation to their results, the concept of these results and their relation back to the soul and finally the concept of the soul and its relation to the supreme consciousness of the cosmos.
Step by step, with an answer for every question asked by Arjuna, Krishna patiently leads Arjuna into a world of deep spiritual knowledge, where Arjuna sees Krishna’s cosmic form. Arjuna learns of the ways of operation of the cosmos and the cosmic consciousness, which would apply to himself and all the beings around him, irrespective of whether he decides to fight the battle or not and whether he kills his near and dear ones or not.
Krishna elevates Arjuna to the highest echelons of knowledge about the way of life in the Universe.
Arjuna was going through an exhilarating experience of God Himself explaining the nuances of the cosmic laws to him.
The Bhagavad Gita Upadesha and the start of the battle, occur on the same day. Today, with the aid of the sky configurations described in the Mahabharatha text we can assign a date in the modern calendar to the date of the battle and hence a date for this “Song of the Divine”.
We have been able date the life of Krishna and the various events of the Mahabharata through our series, “Historical Krishna”.
Tradition calls this day when Gita was born as Gita Jayanthi and to this day it is celebrated on Margashira Shukla Paksha Ekadashi, meaning the 11th day in the bright fortnight of the month of Margashira.
On this day, there was a New Moon along with a Solar Eclipse, in Jyeshta star on October 14th, 3067 BCE, followed by a Full Moon on October 28th, 3067 BCE. This lunar cycle marked the lunar month of Karthika, since the full moon occurred near Karthik star.
The month that follows Karthika, is Margashira and the New Moon occurred around 12 Nov 3067 BCE. This makes Nov 22nd, 3067 BCE, which was the start of the battle and the day of Gita, a Margashira Shukla Paksha Ekadashi day, the 11th phase of the bright fortnight of Margashira.
The tradition of celebrating Margashira Shukla Paksha Ekadashi day as Gita Jayanthi matches what the skies showed 5100 years ago.
This means that the year 2018 is the 5085th year since the Upadesha of Gita.
The Bhagavad Gita was revealed to mankind by God Himself. The word Bhagavad means ‘God, the Lord’ and Gita means ‘Song’. The word ‘Bhagavad Gita’ thus literally translates to, ‘Song of God’.
Krishna reveals his Viswaroopa, the Cosmic Form to Arjuna, showing that He is the Supreme Lord of Creation, incarnated in a human form to add credibility to His Gita.
This revelation of God, the Gita Upadesha was witnessed by Arjuna, Sanjaya the commentator, Vyasa the compiler and a host of other fortunate ones.
Arjuna’s grandfather, Krishna Dwaipayana, whom we reverentially call as Veda Vyasa, for he also compiled the Veda, recorded the Gita Upadesa for posterity.
There have been many occasions in many lands, many civilizations, where God has conveyed His message to mankind, through His Son or through a messenger, a Prophet.
Similarly, there have been other times when God has thought it fit to pass on knowledge through different noble and wise persons.
In that sense, this land, the civilisation and nation of India, has experienced a difference, for, it has had the privilege to have an Avatar, an incarnation of God Himself, giving His message to mankind in person. And this was in the form of His song, the Bhagavad Gita.
Bhagavad Gita deals with life, duties, actions, mind, soul, purpose of life and the belief in the divine God. All these aspects are common to human life, civilizations and all religions. From this perspective, Bhagavad Gita is a manual of all these above points and not to be limitedly construed as a religious text, even though it has come down from the mouth of God. The dialogue between the two, Krishna and Arjuna, was more about the purpose of life and actions than a religious discourse.
Gita therefore, should verily and proudly be accorded the status of a knowledge asset, a literary treasure, a godsend counsel for realization of the self, whether one is a citizen of India or the world.
– Dr. D.K. Hari & Dr. D.K. Hema Hari