Brand Bharat

Brand Bharath Discovering India.jpg

Blog _ Logo_v1

Bharatha – A land of people who relish knowledge

India had a pride of place in the ancient and medieval world. This land was called Bharatha, Bha meaning light and Ratha meaning ‘to relish’. Bharatha was the land of people who relished knowledge.

1 Bharatha

Indian Prosperity

The Indian literature, right from the Veda, to the Tamil Sangam literature, speak of India as a land of prosperity. These bodies of literature describe a civilization that was prosperous. They present a picture of a society that was rich in material, cultural and spiritual wealth. The economy of the land was thriving. There was wide spread trade. Arts and culture were patronized and well established.

The testimony to this prosperity is given by Marco Polo, a Venetian visitor to India in 1290 CE. He describes India in his writings as “the most prosperous of all, in the world he had seen.”

 1

Marco Polo

What gave India such a Brand Image of the most prosperous land, a sone ki chidiya?

Some are brands of goods that went from India, world over.

Some are brands of thoughts and practices, with roots in India.

Some are brands created by the image of India, for the world.

These brands of yore created openings, not just in the field of trade but also in the very spread of thought and thought process. This is something that India can be rightfully proud of.

For, it is thought process that shapes the evolution of thought, sciences, practices and lifestyle, which in turn, have a bearing on the pace of evolution of mankind.

If there are a few civilizations or nations that can proudly say that it has offered something to the evolution of the thought process of humanity, then the Indian civilization does earn a pride of place, perhaps right on top.

Roots In India

The major aspects that make a prosperous civilization such as Education, Maths, Sciences, Languages, Music and Lifestyle, had their roots in India. They went on to create the Brand Bharat in the eyes of the world.

Signs of Brand Bharat

Some of the other signs of Bharat which became a brand, include

  1. Plentiful and Varieties of Food
  2. Abundance of Water and Water Harnessing
  3. Ganga
  4. Knowledge
  5. Kama Sutra
  6. Yoga
  7. Sports – Chess, Polo, Snooker, Badminton,

to list just a few.

Trading Giant

India was a leader in trade, having 25 % to 30 % share in World Trade in Ancient and Medieval times all the way upto 1800s.

6 India's trade

Made in India – The Big Five

India had many produces to its credit that made it an economic powerhouse. The 5 main products that were manufactured in India were Iron and Steel, Zinc, Cotton, Indigo, Sugar and Spice.

3

The Five Ts – The Principles

They were able to sustain the brands, through many centuries and millennia, with the diligent practice of the 5Ts.

T Principles
Tradition Understanding and Following Tradition
Talent Skilled along with Quest and Innovation
Technology Producing but Sustaining Nature
Trade Trading, but not for Greed
Truth Living with Truth – The Cosmic Principle, Dharma

Lost to Plunder

Unfortunately, India lost its prosperity to wave after wave of plunder, first from near west and later from the far west in the name of colonisation, which destroyed Brand Bharat.

But all is not lost.

India may have lost a lot of wealth she had generated. But she has not lost the grace of Nature that can help her build similar wealth in no time, the way the earlier generations had done.

All India needs, is to understand her strengths and deploy them suitably.

More on Prosperity, Plunder and Rejuvenation of India, in our book ‘You Turn India’.

4

Bharath Gyan

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 and disseminated by The Art of Living of Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, Bharath Gyan is a compilation from the year 2000, of the knowledge and ethos of India from an interdisciplinary and wholistic perspective.

“Brand Bharat”, as conceptualized by the Hari couple, paints the true picture of India and the pride of place India held among the comity of civilizations. It delves into the brands that had kept it so, for millennium after millennium.

Brand Bharat leaves us with a new image of India, a new outlook on prosperity and a new sense of pride at being an Indian.

We had the opportunity to give a Multimedia talk on “Brand Bharat” on Pravasi Bharatiya Divas of 2015, at Gandhinagar, Gujarat.

Brand 6

D K Hari and D K Hema Hari giving a Multimedia talk on Pravasi Bharatiya Divas 2015

More, in our work, ‘Brand Bharat’ from the ‘Autobiography of India’ series.

Swami Vedanta Desika #750thBirthday #JanmaNakshatra

Swami Vedanta Desika is a popular philosopher and a poet, who belonged to the Vishista Advaita tradition of Sri Ramanuja.

1

Swami Vedanta Desika

Birth

He was born in 1268 CE, 750 years ago, on Vijayadasami day, in a locality called Thupul, which is part of the ancient temple city of Kanchipuram, in South India.

This day corresponds to the year Vibhava, in the month of Purattaasi on the Dasami Day of Sukla Paksha, a Wednesday, in the Shravanam constellation.

His original name was Venkatanatha, and belonged to the Vishvamitra Gotra.

Ghanta of Venkateshwara Perumal

He is reverentially looked up to as an Avatar of Ghanta, the bell of Sri Venkateshwara Perumal Temple of Tirumala, Tirupati.

2

Bell of Lord Venkateshwara

3

Tirumala Tirupati

Big Bang, Omkara and Bell

This theory of Big Bang and the universe emanating from the Cosmic Egg has been beautifully, graphically, scientifically explained in the Rig Veda and the associated ancient texts of India as the concept of Hiranyagarbha or the golden womb or egg, which when breaks open with a bang, spews out the Universe. The resonance of this Big Bang is OM, which is also known by the term Nada Brahaman. The Bell also represents the highly evolved state of metallurgy or Bharthiyo, in ancient India.

This concept of OM, which has been exemplified by the ancients, as the resonance of the bell and is known in Indian texts as Omkara, in discussed in detail in our book and film, Creation – Srishti Vignana.

                WhatsApp Image 2018-09-21 at 4.31.44 PM

Also, check out our short film – Om, The Echo of  Big Bang: https://goo.gl/pnd6nf

Bell in Bharath Gyan logo

Incidentally this concept of Om has been shown as the overall bell shape in the Bharath Gyan logo.

5

Kavitargigah Simhaya

Swami Vedanta Desika is popularly known as Kavitargigah Simhaya, meaning “Lion among poets”. His erudition was par excellence. He was a polyglot, meaning he was erudite in many languages, among them being Manipravalam, a literary language used in ancient and medieval India which was a mixture of Tamil and Samskrt. He was proficient in 8 languages, including Samskrt, Tamil, Manipravalam, Prakrt, and Pali. He authored more than 120 works, during the course of his life.

His works being,

6

He brought out the very essence of the Veda in these works.

Paduka Sahasram composed in one night

The work Paduka Sahasram, consisting of 1008 verses on the sandals, paduka of Lord Vishnu, was composed by Swami Vedanta Desika in just one night.

Ahara Niyamanam

One of the works is called Ahara Niyamanam, that deals with food, Ahara, what should be eaten and how?

Swami Vedanta Desika and Chess

Chess is a game that India gave to the world. It was called Chaturanga in India because it comprised of 4 arms of the army – the infantry represented by the Pawn, the horse cavalry represented by the Knight, the elephant represented by the Rook and the chariot represented by the Bishop.

One among the skills of Swami Vedanta Desika, was the composition of Samskrt poems which were ciphers based on geometric patterns.

He composed two verses, with each verse consisting of 32 Aksharas.

Chess board as a base on which 64 aksharas (letters) were laid one each on each square, was one such type of his composition. The cipher was the movement of the chess pieces.

For example, in a cipher based on the movement of the horse, each time a horse moved on the chess board in its unique pattern, those aksharas resulted in the birth of a new poem, with a new meaning.

7

One of the ciphers, encoded using Chess board and the moves of a horse but making a valid well meaning sentence

8

The encoded verse, placed on the chess board

9

The moves of the horse applied for decoding the verse

10

The decoded verse containing the same letters but in a different sentence with a different meaning

This sort of poetry writing is known as Chithra Bhandhana. It requires a high degree of felicity in a poet to be able to arrange letters thus on a 64 square board.

That the poet Swami Vedantha Desika had used the chess board as a frame for his poem and the unique L shaped movement of the horse, also valid as per the rules of present day chess game.

Today, this is a mathematical problem known as #KnightsTour, solved by the German Mathematician Von Warsdorf in 1823 for Europe.

However, Swami Vedanta Desika had the solution to this problem 500 years prior to Von Warsdorf of Europe, itself. Using these moves of the horse, he gave us this poem..

This poem is available in his work, Paduka Sahasram.

He was a mathematician, a poet and a genius.

More on this in our book, Brand Bharat – Roots In India.

11

Acharya

At the age of 27, Vedanta Desika rose to the stature of an Acharya, and he was conferred the title Sarva Tantra Swatantra, meaning the one with originality in any field of knowledge.

He stayed in Tiruvehindipuram near Cuddalore near Pondichery.

Respected by Other Philosophers

While he espoused the Vishishta Advaita philosophy of Sri Ramanuja, his preceptor, who was born 250 years before him, the scholarship of Swami Vedanta Desika was respected and accepted by other philosophers of other philosophies too.

Judge in a Debate

In a debate on the meaning of the concept of Tat Tvam Asi, between the two great philosophers of that time, Sri Akshobhaya Tirthar, who was a proponent of the Dwaita philosophy, and Sri Vidyaranya Tirthar of Sringeri, of Advaita philosophy, they chose Swami Vedanta Desika as their judge for the debate.

The verdict of Swami Desika post the debate, has been etched in a pillar at Moola Begalu Temple in Karnataka.

Close friend of Appaya Dikshitar

The other great scholar of the time of Advaita philosophy was Appaya Dikshitar, was close friend of Swami Vedanta Desika. This only goes to show how much he was venerated and accepted across viewpoints.

12

Appaya Dikshitar

Civil Engineering Skills

Swami Vedanta Desika in the Swami Vardaraja Swamy Pradakshina area built a well in one night. With this he showcased his skill in civil engineering and hydraulics engineering. After 700 years also, this well is functional, and the water is taken only from this well for Sri Vardaraja Perumal for His abhisheka.

16

Swamy Vardaraja Perumal

13

A Well built by Vedanta Desika

Challenge

The challenge Swami Vedanta Desika faced was that he was given uneven bricks to construct the well. He managed to surmount this problem through his civil engineering skills. This shows that Swami Vedanta Desika was not only a poet, but also was well versed in “Kupa Shastra”, meaning the scientific manual for constructing wells.

Oddan

This field of constructing wells was the specialty of the respected jathi of people, known as Oddan. More on the term Oddan, Jathi of Oddan and their hydraulic engineering skills, and the meaning of the word Edugha in our book Breaking The Myths – About Society.

15

750th Birthday

Vedanta Desika attained Mukti  in 1369, after spending 101 fruitful years on this planet. Even to this day , in the daily prayers in every vaishnava temple in south India, people sing the praise of the service of Swami Vedanta Desika, and beseech him to live for another 100 more years, which in Tamil is stated as Innum ora nutra anda irum.

This year, 2018, we will be celebrating, his 750th birthday, as Swami Vedanta Desika continues to live in the hearts of the people.