Young Charles Darwin
An illustrious Family
Charles Darwin was born into a religious family. His wife came from the illustrious Wedgewood family, who were well known for making the famous blue China pottery for royalty.
His mother Susannah Wedgwood, was the daughter of Josiah Wedgwood, the famous potter.
When he grew up, he lived in the countryside, an hour south of London, in the picturisque Downe village. He chose this place as a spot of recuperation from his continuous illness.
Visiting Church, Sitting outside
While Darwin’s wife, Emma Darwin was religious, Darwin wasn’t. This arose partly from his scepticism about Christian theology.
Darwin’s wife, Emma being a devout Christian, used to visit church every Sunday. He used to accompany her to Church as a husband. But while she attended the Church Mass, Darwin sat outside waiting for her.
Today, Charles Darwin’s is remembered as someone who revolutionized science. How did he find such an esteemed place in the annals of scientific world?
Voyage on Beagle
At a young age of 22, Darwin set out on an ocean voyage on the research vessel H M S Beagle. He got this opportunity as one research scholar opted out at the last moment. This chance opportunity that Darwin got, to go on this research vessel, changed his life and subsequently the course of our understanding about evolution.
The Vessel, H M S Beagle
Until then, the prevalent view in Europe was that which was dictated by the Christian Theology which states that God created the earth in 7 days, with earth, man and animals in a set sequence.
During the voyage, Darwin studied various forms of life, right from butterflies, insects, to tortoises, including the famous long living tortoise of Galapagos.
At every port of call, he collected samples and studied them. The ship route covered southern hemisphere, including Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and Brazil, lasting for 5 long years.
The Voyage of the Beagle
On the Origin of Species
After he came back to England from the Voyage, he settled down to write his master piece book, “On the Origin of Species”.
Charles Darwin’s Book, The Origin of Species
Intitially the publisher was hesitant to print and publish his book.
He was so sure about his theory being accepted that He offered to buy back the 1250 printed copies of the book if they did not sell.
This book soon shook the very foundations of science and Christian theology.
Evolution Day is a celebration to commemorate the anniversary of the initial publication of On the Origin of Species by Charles Darwin on 24 November 1859.
Charles Darwin & the Avatar Theory
It is interesting to note that, some aspects of his theory are in sync with the Indian story of evolution.
According to Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution, aquatic creatures were the first to come into existence, followed by amphibians and then land creature.
In India, the concept of evolution has been discussed in the sequence of Dasavatara of Vishnu, starting from the fish and evolving all the way to the intellectual human.
Matsya – A Fish
As the legend goes, when the world was to be engulfed by a Pralaya, dissolution, the Rishi are taken to safety by Vishnu in the form of a large fish. The fish here is symbolic of life emerging from waters.
Kurma – A tortoise
At a time when there was a tug of war between the Deva, equated with the divine forces and the Asura equated with the demonic forces, they used a mountain for churning the ocean. When this mountain kept slipping, Vishnu in the form of a large tortoise supported the mountain and this allowed the Deva and Asura to complete their churning of the ocean from which emerged the good and bad of the universe. The tortoise here is symbolic of an amphibious life.
Varaha – A Boar
Later in time, when the Earth is held under the oppression of Hiranyaksha, an Asura, a demonic power, Vishnu in the form of a boar, bores through and releases the Earth from captivity. Boar is here symbolic of land based forms of life.
Narasimha – A Beast, man lion
Soon after, Vishnu emerges in the form of a ferocious half man – half lion to wipe out Hiranyakashipu, anotherAsura, whohad terrorised the world. This beast like form is symbolic of man living like a savage.
Vamana – A dwarf
As a dwarf Vamana, Vishnu humbles the ego of another Asura called Mahabali. This form is symbolic of man in his early stages of evolution where thinking and learning sets in.
Parashurama – A hunter
As Parashurama, a hunter, this form of Vishnu highlights the phase of mankind where man lived by hunting and as a forest dweller.
Rama – A leader
The Rama form of Vishnu and the good governance of Rama, showcases the stage when man started living by rules as a disciplined society.
Balarama – A farmer
Vishnu as Balarama, the bearer of a plough, is symbolic of the stage when man took to organized farming, irrigation, cattle rearing and trade as an industry.
Krishna – A strategist
Vishnu as Krishna, highlights the stage when man after the setting in of societal living, industrialization and trade starts to strategize to improve his position.
Kalki – A horse rider
This is an avatar of Vishnu which is yet to come but when it does, is expected to herald the dissolution of the world. In this as a horse rider, Vishnu symbolizes the speed and power which eventually are believed to become the cause of the destruction of the world.
We see here a great connect between Darwin theory and the Indian Avataric concept. While Charles Darwin’s theories challenged the idea of Divinity in the west by propounding an evolutionary origin of humans, the same theory was in line with the Indian concept of Avatars, incarnations of the Divinity Vishnu. The people of this land had understood the concept of evolution even before Darwin.
Charles Darwin was a great scientist with the similar insight of an Indian Rishi. No wonder, at his death people queued up next to pay their last respects to him, probably one of the longest queue, showing the respect, the common men had for this great man.
The last few decades have been punctuated with strife between the riparian states of Tamil Nadu and Karnataka or Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh or Tamil Nadu and Kerala. All for the sake of something as basic but essential as water.
The last decade has seen this battle intensify between Tamil Nadu and Karnataka over the waters of Cauvery river.
We all know that the Tamil land had been prosperous for millennia. This could not have come about without copious water to support its prosperity generating activities and industries. Tamil Nadu was water surplus then.
Where did Tamil Nadu get its water then?
Tamil Nadu has not changed its location. The rains are more or less the same.
What has changed besides a few dams across a few rivers of such a large and expansive state?
We need to look at the ground situation then and what it is today.
Ground Surface Water Availability
Ground surface water consists of components which include,
- Large and small rivers, streams, rivulets, Odai, forest streams
- Large water bodies, manmade and natural – lakes, tanks, Eri
- Small local water bodies –
- Pushkarni / Kovil Kulam– Temple Tanks
- Grama Kulam
Kulam and Kuttai
In India through the ages, every village temple had a tank, Kovil Kulam called Pushkarni. Apart from daily bathing and for local temple ritual, these tanks were primarily built for water harnessing.
Kulam and Kuttai are small local village troughs. Kulam is slightly larger, while Kuttai is smaller.
These were over 2 lakhs such small water bodies in number all over Tamil Nadu in the form of Kovil Kulam (temple tanks), Grama Kulam and Kuttai. These were used, for temple ceremonies, for daily ablution and other daily needs of men and cattle.
Temple Tank at Chidambaram Temple, Tamil Nadu
Thus, almost every village had atleast a Kulam or Kuttai, which also met the daily fishing needs of the local community.
All these in the last 60 years, have become dirty wastage dumps, and cesspools, where mosquitoes breed. Over half of them are lost due to illegal occupation and construction in connivance with the local administration
Tamil Nadu, A Land of Rivers
Tamil Nadu is not just a land of one river called Cauvery. It is verily a land of rivers. There are 102 rivers in this land. Thus Tamil Nadu is filled with rivers, one river after another.
All these were perennial rivers at the time of independence.
However, in the name of development, the people of this generation, and immediate earlier generation, have made these hundred rivers bone dry. Now we are going with a begging bowl, asking our neighbouring riparian states for water.
Continue to Ask
While we should continue to ask in a civil manner, for our share of Cauvery waters for Tamil Nadu through set legal norms,it is even more important, to ensure that within the next decade, we make these 102 rivers of Tamil Nadu flowing and perennial once again. Which is what, our forefathers had bequeathed to us as our real inheritance.
42000 to 7000
Adding to this woe of making our rivers go dry, our immediate and earlier generation has committed an even bigger blunder. Tamil Nadu was a land of water bodies, lakes and Eri.
As per the records of the government of Tamil Nadu, in 1967, we had 42000 lakes, Eri, tanks and large water bodies, all over the state.
Not only were they so many in number, they were also beautifully networked to keep overflowing into successive tanks down the chain. These networked tanks, called the Chain Tank System of the Carnatic, built across 500 years over 1500 years ago itself, qualify to surpass any Engineering marvel that the world has produced. More in our film Tamzhigam Oru Vaibhavam .
From 1967 to 2017, in 50 years, we have wontedly reduced these networked water bodies of ours, from 42000 to a mere 7000. 35000 water bodies, lakes, Eri and tanks have been wiped out from the topography of Tamil Nadu. No wonder, water shortage is looming large.
We should realize that for our mis-deeds and mis-adventure, we will have to bear the severe consequences within this generation itself. Even the 7000 large water bodies have been substantially encroached and converted into filthy cesspools. It is a catastrophic situation, we have on hand now.
Who is responsible for this?
Dravidian Parties Responsible
If we see, Tamil Nadu has been alternatively ruled for the last 50 years, since 1967, by Dravidian parties only. These are parties who have come up claiming to restore the lost pride of the Dravidians.
But it is under their very rule, that we are finding
- the legacy left behind by our Dravidian ancestors eroded.
- the world marvel of Dravidian Hydraulic and Civil Engineering raped
- the successful and ingenious Dravidian Sustainability model destroyed.
How can anyone claim to be restoring the lost Dravidian pride then? Rather what little was left is also being wiped off from the face of Tamizhagam.
It is in the hands of the people now to wake up and understand what really is our wealth, our pride.
Tamil Nadu receives the highest rainfall
Alas is the situation all lost!? Thankfully no. If you look at the precipitation levels of the three Deccan states of Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu receives the highest rainfall among these three states, well spread out across its geography. Even now it is not too late, if we put our minds and efforts together.
Rainfall received by the three states
Tamil Nadu, has three rainfall patterns,
- South West monsoon
- North East monsoon
- 3 to 5 cyclones that unfailingly lash the coasts of Tamil Nadu, in the months of October, November and December.
While Tamil Nadu has three distinctive rainfall patterns, what is to be remembered is that it rains cumulatively for only less than 100 hours, out of the 8760 hours, every year.
So, when it rains, it really pours. This 100 hours of copious rain, we should carefully use for the balance 8660 hours.
That water needs to be harnessed and used by the people, livestock, industry, agriculture, animals, flora and fauna of the land, for the balance 8660 hours, when it does not rain.
Need to rejuvenate Rivers and Waterbodies
We need to rejuvenate the 102 rivers, and the remaining 7000 lakes, tanks, and Eri, and the overflow connections between them. Then Tamil Nadu can have bountiful waters to meet its needs once again. Tamil Nadu is a Nature endowed water surplus state. Mother Nature, endows us with sufficient waters every year. It is for us to harness the bounty of Mother Nature, and use it judiciously in a sustainable manner.
Our forefathers had understood this phenomenon of Nature, and with ingenuity harnessed waters to sustain their civilization. Today in the name of development, education, knowledge and hydraulic civil engineering skills, we have failed to maintain a sustainable ecology. It is time to recognize our faults, redevise methods, and rejuvenate our rivers for a prosperous and sustainable Tamil Nadu.
Read eBook : Indo Japan A Connect Over Millennia
See the complete book at http://www.sattvastore.com
India and Japan are geographically separated by many miles and many seas.
Yet, they have shared a close bond. Not just commercially but in the field of culture, linguistics, spirituality, subtle traditional practices, the religion of Buddhism and many other such areas.
In the last few decades, Japan has had a large impact on Indians by way of infusion of modern Japanese technologies into India. To the current generation of youth in India, the impression is that, Japan has given a lot to India.
“Japan has gained more from India across ages than India has done from Japan in recent times.”
These were the words of Naomi Ishii, MD of Toyota in India.
It was his sincere counter over dinner to the common sentiment prevalent amongst Indians about Japan’s contribution to India.
This was a very touching moment – an endorsement given by a generation of Japanese, to a generation of Indians, of their ancestors’ positive interactions, more than a millennium ago.
In this day and age of high modernization in Japan, if India’s influence on Japan is still held in high esteem by the Japanese and also as one that benefitted Japan, then it speaks highly of,
1.The nobility of the Indian ancestors who had created such an impact on the Japanese and
2. The nobility of the present generation of Japanese to acknowledge such an impact even after millennia.
One is not sure how many of the Japanese or the Indians realize this though. For, Buddhism and its values have been internalized so much that they are an integral part of Japan today. This is evident in the calm demeanour with which they have faced some of the world’s worst disasters, both natural and manmade, through times. This has given them the strength to recover with focus and determination.
The Indo Japan relationship, a rapport built over time, has had various touch points over ages, from different perspectives.
There are many a works that have been written in the last couple of centuries, on these exchanges across ages. Many associations and centres too have sprung up to trace and further the bond between these 2 lands.
In this book, we present the Indo Japan connect right through times with a focus on the subtler aspects of the connect and the way forward than as a historical, political or commercial account.
Nothing about Indo Japan relationship is superficial. The ties run very deep.
The Indo Japan ties are a good example for how a relationship, over a millennium, acquires different flavours, based on mutual sharing of each other’s strengths, which also varies over time.
To remind both Indian and Japanese youth of the strong bond that we have shared over millennia and to strengthen it further for future, by leveraging each other’s strengths in present times, is the objective.