The song “Aye Mere Vatan Ke Logon” stirred the nation with patriotic fervor in aftermath of the Indo China war in 1962.
Written, Composed and Sung by….
Kavi Pradeep, Lata Maneshkar and C Ramachandra
The song was written by Kavi Pradeep, composed by C Ramachandra and sung for the first time by Lata Mangeshkar on January 27th 1963 in front of a live audience that included the then Prime Minister Jawahar Lal Nehru.
Lata Mangeshkar singing
Sacrifice of Indian Soldiers
The song brings forth the sacrifice of the Indian soldiers during the then concluded Indo-China War.
Indian Soldiers during the War
When sung, even to this day, it moves us to think of those soldiers who “gave their today for our tomorrow”.
Ai merevatanke logon, tum khuub lagaa lonaaraa
Oh, my fellow citizens! Chant slogans in praise of our country.
yahshubhdinhai ham sab kaa, laharaa lotiirangapyaaraa
This is an auspicious day for us all, so fly our beloved tri-color flag.
par mat bhuulosiimaaparviiro.nne haipraanga.nvaaye
Yet, do not forget that brave soldiers have lost their lives on our borders.
kuchh yaad unhe.n bhii kar lo, jo laut ke ghar na aaye
Remember those who have not returned home.
ai mere vatan ke logo, zaraa aa.nkh me.n bhar lo paani
The Government of India has declared January 25th of every year as National Voter’s Day.
Post-Independence, the first Lok Sabha was formed in 1951 by the citizens of this country, culminating from a voting process.
Every voter a Bhagya Vidhata
The Indian National Anthem has the line, Bharatha Bhagya Vidhatha. In this context, it means the President of India.
Every voter in India is truly a BharathaBhagya Vidhata in his own right. Each person has the capacity and right to change, mould and shape the destiny of this land.
Each Citizen a King
The Tamil poet Subramanya Bharathi refers to everyone as kings in one of his poetry, the relevant line being Ellorum Innattu Mannargal, meaning ‘Every citizen is a king’. He meant to say that every citizen has a role in shaping the destiny of this land. He made this observation even before Independence.
Voting not new to this land
Voting is not something new that was introduced in this land only after independence. Infact, many inscriptions have been found indicating how voting has been a regular feature of this land of Bharatha for many centuries. The 1000 year old temple inscriptions of Uttiramerur in Tamil Nadu speak about the voting system.
The Uttiramerur temple inscriptions
The temple inscriptions also mention that people who indulged in corruption were disqualified from contesting elections.
In Ancient India, a system called Kudavolai system was followed where the palm leaves with candidate names were placed inside a mud pot for counting.
In Independent India, initially the multiple ballot system was followed. Then the single ballot system became prevalent. And, now the electronic voting system is followed.
There were many Janapada, republics in this land.
Mahajanapada of Ancient India
The very term Janapada means, ‘People coming together to govern themselves through People Governance Body’. Thus implying that people voted to form their governing bodies in these Janapada.
We see from these examples that voting and the governance system has been a norm in this land for thousands of years.
Universal Adult Franchise
In India, Universal Adult Franchise has been followed from the beginning. This has not been the case in other countries.
In USA, the voting rights for women were given only in 1927 after a hard fight. In Switzerland, women got their voting rights only in 1972. It is interesting that India already had a women Prime Minister in Indira Gandhi by then.
Similarly, voting rights have been hard fought for in many parts of the world.
Equal rights for all genders
In contrast, in India, all the three genders, male, female and transgender have had equal voting rights for many centuries.
Moreover, in India, post elections, there was gender equality in choosing who should govern the people as can be seen in the case of Indira Gandhi. Other examples include Sucheta Kriplani, elected as the first women Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh in 1966 and Nandini Satpathy, who became the first women Chief Minister of Orissa in 1972.
Sucheta Kriplani Nandini Satpathy
Let us Vote
In the current electoral situation in the country when even corrupt individuals stand for elections, let us all cast our votes against corruption and corrupt politicians and vote for good governance.
Voting is and has been an important responsibility than just a right to exercise.
In this month March, we shall be celebrating Rama Navami, the Birthday of Rama on Saturday, the 28th of March, 2015.
When we say, we celebrate His birthday, does it mean that He was born on this earth?
If He was born on this earth, can we specifically say on what date in the English Calendar He was born?
To answer this question we need to look at the source text, namely Valmiki Ramayana. This text Valmiki Ramayan is called Itihasa. What is the meaning of the word Itihasa?
Itihasa comes from ‘Iti+ha+asa’ meaning ‘it thus happened’. Thusthe very terminology Itihasa means it is a Historical Text.
Why is Ramayana called an Itihasa?
While a historical text may be written by a Chronicler in a period, many years later, the distinguishing factor in the case of Valmiki Ramayana is that Valmiki, the author of Ramayana, lived during the times of Rama Himself and was a care-taker of Sita, Rama’s wife and Rama’s twin sons Lava & Kusa. Hence Valmiki Ramayana is also a first hand biographical report. It is for this reason only Valmiki Ramayana is called Itihasa while the other Ramayana texts such as Goswami Tulasidas’ Ramacharitramanas, Kalidas’ Raghuvamsa, Kambar’s Ramayanam etc. are only referred to as Kavya-meaning great poetical works.
In Valmiki Ramayana the star position of the birth of Rama is clearly given by Valmiki in Ramayana Verse No. 1.18.8, 9th.
The Sloka being:
Rama was born on the Navami tithi of Shukla Paksha of Chaitra masa (9th day of the increasing phase of the moon in the lunar month of Chaitra). At that time, the Nakshatra or star was Punarvasu and Sun, Mars, Saturn, Jupiter and Venus were in Aries, Capricorn, Libra, Cancer and Pisces respectively. The Lagna was Cancer and Jupiter and moon were shining together.
This stanza has been used by many astrologers to chart out the horoscope of Rama. While this Sloka has been used by many for astrological predictions about the life of Rama, the same Sloka can also be used to get to the actual date of Rama. How is this possible?
While many have had to resort to a lot of manual calculations, the availability of a new software called the Planetarium Software in recent times has made this arduous task a little less tedious. This software helps to search the skies of the past, to locate when a given star configuration was really present in the sky.
By searching the skies of the past for the configuration of planets as indicated by the sloka, one can arrive at the date in the English calendar for that configuration.
While it appears to be an easy task, even with the aid of the software, it is a rather daunting task as not only the configuration should match with that in the sky for that event, it should match for an entire sequence of events in the lifetime of Rama, as outlined in the Ramayana text.
Shri Pushkar Bhatnagar- Income tax Commissioner in Delhi, took up this daunting task of searching the skies and identifying such a star position and the date when that occurred. For this purpose the above sloka was written down for clarity and the conditions summarised as follows:
1. Sun in Aries
2. Saturn in Libra
3. Jupiter in Cancer
4. Venus in Pisces
5. Mars in Capricorn
6. Lunar month of Chaitra
7. 9th day after New moon (Navami tithi, Shukla Paksh)
8. Moon near Punarvasu nakshatra
9. Cancer as lagna
Cancer constellation rising in the east
10. Jupiter above the horizon
With this clear data of the star positions in the sky, it has been possible to pinpoint, using the Planetarium software, the exact time and date of birth of our historical king Rama – Son of Kausalya & Dasaratha.
The date and time of Rama’s birth has been arrived as 12:30 in the afternoon on 10th January 5114 BCE.
If Rama was born on 10th January in 5114 BCE, you may wonder as to why we usually celebrate Rama Navami around March end- April mid.
The reason for this is the concept of precision of equinox where 1 day is to adjusted for every 72 years. Thus over a 7200 year period, it works to around 100 days between January 10th and April 15th..
This scientifically precise and repeatedly validatable information thus helps us to celebrate the 7129thbirthday of Sri Rama this year on March 28th 2015.
This month in commemoration of Rama’s Birthday – Bharath Gyan in alliance with Art of Living is bringing out a 35min film titled– Historical Rama. Having learnt of the date of birth of Rama many other questions will pop up in one’s mind such as, similar to this, can we arrive at dates for the other key events in Ramayana like :
Date of vanavas, exile of Rama
The Surpanaka Episode at Panchavati-Nasik
Slaying of Vali by Rama
Hanuman meeting Seeta in Lanka
Date when the Bridge to Lanka was constructed etc.
Another major question that would arise next, is, whether this bridge is really man-made? Is there any proof for it?
All these questions and more have been addressed in detail and answered in this film Historical Rama, using an interdisciplinary and integrated, logical, rational and scientific approach. Further information can be had from our website www.historicalrama.org, which was launched by His Holiness Sri Sri Ravi Shankar.
Armed with all this data, facts and understanding, let us relish the true historical nature of Rama and be amazed by the antiquity of this land.
“Ram Naam Satya Hai” – the name of Rama is true, the historicity of Rama is true.
After the story of God Particle, the next big cosmological story is,
“Is the Universe Collapsing?”
From Expansion to Contraction
In the year 2011, the physicists, Adam Riess, Brian Schmidt and Saul Perlmutter were awarded the Nobel Prize for their discovery that the universe is expanding.
Quick on its heels, comes another research with the postulate that the universe is infact, contracting.
This comes out from the calculations of Jens Frederik Colding Krog, the author of this research, at the Centre for Cosmology and Particle Physics Phenomenology, University of Southern Denmark.
His research comes up with the postulate that the universe is at a phase of transition from expansion to contraction.
This transition has not set in, in just the few years between awarding the Nobel Prize for the theory of expansion of this universe and this new theory of contracting universe.
This transition sets in over a window period of millions of earth years and is not limited just to the earth or solar system, but to the whole universe.
Indian Traditional View
A peep into the traditional Indian cosmology gives us an interesting insight. This is known as the subject of Brahmanda Parardha. Brahmanda meaning universe, Ardha is half, Para denotes the other, following, succeeding, previous. This term Brahmanda Parardha implies that the life span of this material universe comprises of 2 halves.
The first half is the expansion of the universe from the moment of Big Bang, Brahmanda Visphotak. The second half is the contraction of the universe, finally ending in all constituents of matter merging back into one single unit.
This single unit then forms the seed for the cosmic egg, Hiranyagarbha for the next cycle of the universe. This collapsed matter is Sesha, the balance and is known as Adi Sesha, the balance from which comes Adi, the beginnings for the next cycle sprout forth.
It is indeed interesting that the Indian thought not only speaks of the Big Bang, the expansion and then the Contraction, it also speaks about the residue becoming the seed for the next cycle.
What a depth of knowledge!
From where do we learn of this contraction?
Sankalpa is something that the learned recite every day. This Sankalpa is a calendar, an Astral Geo-Positioning calendar.
The first phrase of the Sankalpa is BrahmaDwitiyaParardhe, meaning, ‘Brahma, the creator, who personifies the expanding force of creation, has now entered Dwitiya, the second, Parardha, the material half’, implying that the first half of Brahma’s life, activity and expansion is over and the universe has entered the second phase, the contracting phase.
This is the implied statement recited by the scholars of this land, every day when they start their Sankalpa.
Thus, it is in the common knowledge of these traditional scholars that we are in the second phase, the concluding phase of the universe wherein the contraction is well on its path to Pralaya, dissolution.
This Sankalpa itself could be expressed as a mathematical formula for calculating elapse time, much like the way modern mathematical formulae are expressed.
While it has always been held that traditional Indian sciences claim knowledge of something after it has been discovered, here is a case where the traditional Indian knowledge and its mathematical formulae can be used in expressing mathematically that the contraction, i.e from when the collapse of the universe has well and truly begun and the time left for it to contract fully and dissolve into nothingness. The next big milestone for the cosmos.
The next big step in cosmological research! Will we take it?