Brand Bharat

Brand Bharat 2

 

Brand Bharat,

–          a brand that was popular for 2 Millennia,

–          a brand that evoked images of millions,

–          a brand worth millions.

 What is Bharat? Does this name have a meaning?

What did this Bharat produce to earn its millions?

What did Brand Bharat represent?

What gave it this brand image?

The exhilarated writings of Marco Polo, an Italian visitor who travelled to India in 1290 CE, created a Brand image of Bharat in terms of millions.

Millions of precious gems

Millions of gold coins

Millions of miles of fertile land

Millions of amazing people …

So much so that, he himself, in the process, got branded as “Marco Mille”, Mille the Latin word for Million.

What did Marco Polo see, that got him so excited as to brand this land as a ‘Land of Millions’?

Bharath Gyan is an endeavour to bridge the old and the new worlds through knowledge from the past, for the present and future. Founded by the couple, D.K.Hari and D.K.Hema Hari, Bharath Gyan is 15 years of compilation of the knowledge and ethos of India from an interdisciplinary and wholistic perspective.

 “Brand Bharat”, as conceptualized by the Hari couple, will paint the picture of India and the pride of place it had held through millennia. It will delve into the ethos of the people that had kept it so, for millennium after millennium.  It will also touch briefly upon some of the reasons for the slide.

The impression that Brand Bharat will leave will be a new image of India, a new outlook on prosperity and a new sense of pride at being an Indian.

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Jala Krida Ekadasi

Images of Krishna stealing the clothes of women when they bathed in the river and they begging Him to give their clothes back, have been imprinted onto the minds of many with the colourful stories woven around them.

 This scene has been ridiculed by many and some have even derogatorily mentioned it as being voyeuristic. This incident warrants a philosophical look in.

jala kreeda

Krishna’s Jala Kreeda, a popular illustration

The word Kreeda means play, game, sport. The word Jala normally means water. The word Jala can also be split into two where ja stands for jananam, “birth” and la is for layam, “to melt”, that which leads to pralayam, “dissolution”.

Jananam and Pralayam, form a rhythm, a cycle that is represented by each and every body in the Universe. The meaning and concept of pralayam is explained in our book “UnderstandingShiva”.

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  pralayam

Pralayam

 From origin to dissolution, everything is shrouded in maya, illusion.

It is in this play, jalakreeda, a play with the word jala, that Krishna helps remove the shroud of maya from our minds, enabling us to see the real play from ja to la, from origin to dissolution. It is this whole play from ja to la which is the real ja-la-kreeda. The setting for this was with the Gopi.

The Gopa and Gopi

The word Gopa comes from Go and Pa. Go stands for “cow” and Pa for “one who looks after”, “nourishes”. Gopa literally means “cowherd”, one who tends to cows.

From another perspective, Gopa also implies one who cherishes knowledge. This again comes from the roots Pa to “cherish”, “nurture”, “look after” and Go which also means knowledge. Gopi is the feminine gender of Gopa.

Gopi is also explained from the root Pi, as one who is drunk, consumed by the thirst for divine knowledge, Go.

Gopa and Gopi, the cow-herd folk, constantly sought Krishna out, surrounded Him and relished spending time with Him. The Gopa and Gopi, their yearning for and cherishing of Krishna, signify symbolically every soul’s yearning, thirst and cherish for true knowledge, symbolized by Krishna.

In recent years however, based on looking at the poetic descriptions of such Lila at a superficial level, for just the literal meaning of the words used, some have loosely cast the image of Krishna into the mould of a young man who flirted with the Gopi.

The Raslila dance stands as a metaphor for the emotions of single minded love, devotion and unification with the divine that prevailed in the seeker, the simple Gopi.

The Krishna, Gopi and their Jalakreeda also provide an intrinsic insight into the kreeda or interplay in the Universe at an ethereal level.

The whole Universe itself is the twinning of the two – the gross and the subtle. The Lila of Krishna, gain relevance, meaning, significance when one elevates one’s thoughts from the gross, physical level to the subtle, ethereal level. It is the twinning of the two that will help us recognize and realize reality.

Let us this Jala Kreeda Ekadasi recognize this subtle aspect of Jala Kreeda of Krishna.

 [This is an extract from our to be released book on Historical Krishna.]

HK-Dating Krishna-Vol-1

World Turtle Day

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The World Turtle Day is observed every year on May 23rdto raise awareness on turtles and their protection.

On this day, many animal lovers and organizations come together and organize events around turtles.

Caring for Turtles

In as much as, turtles might not be favourites of people, like dogs, it is vitally important that we care for this species, one of world’s oldest creatures of this planet.

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There have been many legends associated withTurtles and Tortoises across many ancient civilizations.

Dasavatara

The Indian tortoise legend is indeed interesting.

In the sequence of Dasavatara, the 10 incarnations of Vishnu, Kurma Avatara, the Tortoise incarnation, is the second Avatara, incarnation of the Divinity Vishnu.The first in the 10 incarnations was Matsya, the Fish, which can live only in water. The second is Kurma, tortoise is an amphibian which evolved from living on water, to living on land.

Kurma

Kurma Avatar – Legend in India

Samudra Manthan

As per this legend, Vishnu takes the form of a tortoise and supports the mountain on His back during the churning of the oceans, Samudra Manthan by the Deva and Asura.

samudra manthan

Samudra Manthan at the time of Kurma Avatar

 Tortoise and Techtonic plates

Indian geological texts also describe the earth as being supported by 8 tortoises.

Here, the analogy of the tortoise stands for the 8 solid tectonic plates on the earth’s crust, over the molten core of the earth, which are constantly moving but very slowly, just like a tortoise and its hard shell which covers the soft animal inside.

techtonic turtle

Symbolic depiction of Indian Turtle Legend

 In Indonesia

The architectural representation of this turtle legend can be seen in the old archaeological sites of central Java in Indonesia and the adjoining Bali islands too.

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Tortoise sculptures in Central Java, Temple Sukoh

 American Legend

There is a similar turtle legend that is explicitlyexpressed in the ancient American legends too, where a turtle dives to the bottom of the ocean to bring back mud to create the earth.

Let us revere Turtles

Thus, we see that tortoises, turtles have been revered across civilizations from time immemorial.

This Turtle’s day, let us take steps to protect this endangered species that we have revered across times, across civilizations.

Buddha Purnima-Buddha was born on 9th April, 1887 BCE

Gautama Siddhartha, “The Buddha”, “the enlightened one” not just a noble son of India, but this earth as well.

Not only has his thought and philosophy been benchmarks, His date of birth as well has been a benchmark in history.

Buddha’s Teachings

Buddha’s eightfold middle path of right vision, right intention, right action, right speech, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness and right concentration has guided millions in the path of spirituality for many centuries.

8 fold path

How many centuries back were these teachings given? In other words, when was Buddha born?

Buddha birth

Buddha’s Birth

The colonial historians who visited India during the 17th and 18th century, found it difficult to fathom the history of India recorded in the traditional form of recording. They also grappled with the dating of these historical events as the thousands of years of time periods ran contrary to their views on the concept of time and Creation of the Universe.

Buddha, who seemed to be rather recent and had inscriptions and followers in these parts of the world venerating Him, became a benchmark for these colonial historians as they could relate more easily to Him.

The times of Buddha therefore became the yardstick for fixing all other dates in the history of India as these colonial historians fixed an imaginary date for Him.

 Imaginary Date

The imaginary date of 483 BCE, for the Nirvana of Buddha, was assigned by the colonial historian E.J.Rapson. When propounding this date for Buddha, Rapson in his book, “Ancient India”, states,

 “Exact date of Buddha’s nirvana is not known, and hence the popularly accepted date of Buddha’s nirvana is imaginary and can at best be taken as provisional.”

Rapson book

              E.J.Rapson book – Ancient India

Moot Question

The question we need to ask here is that, in a scientific historical analysis, how can an imaginary or provisional date be taken as a benchmark and that too, to date another legendary hero of the land?

 So when exactly was Buddha born?

 In present time, the new field of archaeo-astronomy helps us accurately date events based on astronomical events.

 The date arrived at using archaeo-astronomy method for the Birth Date of Buddha is 9th April, 1887 BCE.

sky chart

Buddha’s Birth Chart

The details are given in our work “Historical Krishna”, which is part of the Bharath Gyan Series.

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Historical Krishna Book

World Red Cross Day

Founder

The World Red Cross Day is celebrated every year on May 8th, the birth anniversary of its founder Jean Henry Dunant.

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                                                    Jean Henry Dunant, the founder of Red Cross

Day to honour Volunteers

The World Red Cross Day is dedicated to those volunteers who have made immense contribution to the needy in times of crisis like war, floods, epidemics and other disasters like earthquake. Many events are held all across the world, whereby the Red Cross volunteers are honoured and felicitated. This day is aimed at inspiring and promoting the humanitarian services carried out by the World Red Cross Society in every nook and corner of the world.

The Red Cross Society

The Red Cross Society is a worldwide movement of around 95 million volunteers that has been providing relief and disaster management during natural and manmade disasters. An organization that has been providing medical relief in war torn areas for over a century now.

The headquarters of Red Cross is at Geneva, Switzerland.

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                            International Red Cross Society, Headquarters, Geneva

Honoured to visit IRC

We had the good opportunity of visiting the International Red Cross Society in Geneva in 1996, go through the museum, and learn first hand the noble humanitarian work being done by the International Red Cross since its inception. Felt the sense of humanity and its selfless service, in times of turmoil, both manmade and that of Nature.

Its Flag

The Swiss flag is a White Cross on a Red background.

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 The Swiss flag

The Red Cross flag is the reverse of Swiss flag – a red cross on white background. Thus the name “Red Cross” evolved.

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 The flag of Red Cross

Principles

The foremost principles of Red Cross include Humanity, Impartiality, Neutrality, Independence, Voluntary Service, Unity, and Universality.

 Role in World War-2

The Red Cross played a vital role during the 2nd World War. The Red Cross volunteers provided food and healthcare to those who were sick and wounded in war action, especially to those war prisoners who were caught in the ravages of the devastating War.

Red Cross Society of India

In India too, the Red Cross has had to fulfill many important roles during the last many decades.

The Indian Red Cross Society was established in 1920 under the Indian Red Cross Society Act. It has over 700 branches today that provide emergency services and healthcare during disasters and emergencies.

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The Indian Red Cross Society, National Headquarters, New Delhi

Diverse humanitarian activities

The Indian Red Cross Society have also been providing the necessary support to the needy during natural disasters like floods, earthquakes and Tsunami all across the country.

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   Indian Red Cross Volunteers providing relief during a flood in Rajasthan

 During Indo-Pak War

For example, at the time of Indo-Pakistan war in 1965, the Red Cross society played the role of intermediary by visiting war prisoners and refugee camps, and providing necessary relief.

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Red Cross delegates distributing milk to children at a refugee camp in Jammu

The Red Cross Society also took up many rehabilitation projects post the Tsunami that struck the Indian coast in 2004.

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Indian Red Cross Volunteers in action
Imgs: Courtesy ‘The Red Cross of India’

The services and relief works of the Indian Red Cross Society have been numerous and diverse in different parts of the country affected by a crisis.

What would have been the state of this country and the world if such service organizations did not exist?

Honour the Volunteers

This World Red Cross Day, let us pause and honour the dedicated volunteers of Red Cross, take a resolve to help the needy in our own way and Volunteer for a better world.