It was at the crossroads of time. It was towards the end of Dwapara Yuga and the start of Kali Yuga. It was the time when King Shantanu, the Kuru king who had ruled Hastinapura ably for years was nearing his end.
The Vedic knowledge that had come that far in time through many millennia prior to their times, was strewn all around and was becoming unwieldy. They were spread all over the land right from Afghanistan to Burma. The Veda Samhita composed by the various Rishi over millennia were also numerous.
It was a huge body both in terms of geographical spread as well as the number of verses. There was a popular saying –
Ananta Vai Vedah,
Veda are endless, infinite.
Also Kurukshetra which had been the region of many prominent Vedic ashrams, that had kept the Vedic tradition alive, was in a state of wilderness as the ashrams had been wiped out in an attack from the near west. The Rishis had relocated themselves from the banks of the river Sarasvati to the banks of other rivers such as the Yamuna and the Ganga.
Rishi Krishna Dwaipayana’s father, Rishi Parasara, who had attempted to consolidate all the 4 Veda and restore Kurukshetra, as the land where the Vedic tradition had flourished, was no more.
Krishna Dwaipayana, who was extraordinarily gifted with skills to learn the Veda even as a young child, committed himself to the cause initiated by his late father, of compiling all the 4 Veda for posterity and restoring Kurukshetra to its glory.
Using his winful ways, he secured the patronage of the Kuru dynasty of Hastinpura to accomplish his mission.
He convinced King Shantanu to perform the Vajapeya Yagna, one among the supreme endeavours along with the Rajasuya Yagna and Ashwamedha Yagna. These were Yagna that could only be conducted by those who had an emperor status as the efforts and resources required for conducting such Yagna were enormous.
To restore Kurukshetra to its original state, Krishna Dwaipyana chose it as the venue for the Vajapeya Yagna, so that it would be cleared and made habitable once again. Since the Yagna would attract many Veda practitioners, Krishna Dwaipayana also used this Yagna as an opportunity to create an assemblage of Rishi and get the Kuru dynasty to commission a project of compiling all the Vedic knowledge that had come that far in time.
He commissioned a gathering of Rishi to compile all the scattered Veda into a structured collection.
On the request of Krishna Dwaipayana therefore, an august gathering of Vedic Rishis from all across the lands was convened, to compile all the Veda into a structured collection and give it a formal body. It was commissioned by King Shantanu, as a formal project, supported by the Kuru kingdom. After the death of King Shantanu soon after this announcement, Bheeshma, the son of King Shantanu, who had taken over as regent on behalf of Vichitraveerya, the son of King Shantanu and Queen Satyavati, provided the necessary support to see this project through.
Under this patronage, Rishi Krishna Dwaipayana embarked on the onerous task of compiling all the Veda Samhita that was available during his times and giving a format, a structure to this body of knowledge. He assumed the role of the compiler-in-chief for this project called the Shrauta Satra, which went on uninterrupted, for the next 12 years in Kurukshetra, thus restoring it back as a Dharmakshetra even much before the Gita was delivered by Krishna to Arjuna before the start of the big, bloody war there, many years later.
This region, Kurukshetra can be unambiguously identified with the region around the town by the same name today, in the state of Haryana. This has been made possible due to the identification of the path of the lost river, Sarasvati and the innumerous archaeological sites along its banks – sites which were locations of the flourishing, vedic, Sindhu-Sarasvati civilization and its various Ashrams.
History of the Veda is therefore not hazy. The details are intrinsic in the ancient texts of the land. There is clarity on
the person who commissioned its compilation – King Shantanu,
the compiler in chief – Rishi Krishna Dwaipayana,
the benefactor who saw this project through – Bheeshma
the time frame when it was carried out – after the death of King Shantanu,
the duration for which the compilation went on – 12 years,
the geography for the assemblage of the vedic scholars who compiled it – Kurukshetra,
the purpose for this effort of compilation – structuring and preservation of the Veda.
This was the grand act of Veda compilation, for which Rishi Krishna Dwaipayana was bestowed with the title “Veda Vyasa”, the compiler of the Veda and the Kurukshetra region came to shine again as Dharmakshetra, the region which was the source of Dharma, in the form of Veda, the guide to knowledgeable living.
The name given to Krishna Dwaipyana on his birth, had two parts – Krishna denoting “one with a dark complexion” and Dwaipayana meaning “the island born”. Krishna Dwaipayana has been one of the most erudite sons of India who has enlightened humanity with his act of compiling the Veda.
The Veda have gone through such compilations periodically and each time the one who takes on the onus of collecting and putting them together for their times, is called a Vyasa, meaning compiler. Krishna Dwaipayana was the 28th such Vyasa. Each Vyasa compiled it into a body, for the needs of their times and future.
Using astronomical data embedded in the Mahabharata itself, we are able to date the Kurukshetra war to 22nd November 3067 BCE. From the narrative in the work and other corroborating works, we can draw a broad chronology of major events in the Mahabharata as follows.
This chronology indicates that Bheeshma, the grand sire of the Kuru dynasty must have been about 90 years old at the time of the Kurukshetra war, i.e in 3067 BCE.
It also indicates that Bheeshma must have been between 16 and 33 years of age at the time of King Shantanu’s demise. It was during this period, that on behalf of the Kuru dynasty and King Shantanu’s promise to Krishna Dwaipayana, Bheeshma patronized the compilation of the Veda by Krishna Dwaipayana and the assemblage of Rishi at Kurukshetra.
From these milestone events, we can fix the period in Indian history when this monumental act was last undertaken by Rishi Krishna Dwaipayana, as between 3141 BCE and 3129 BCE – about 5100 years ago.
What comes out very clear in all this, is the single minded commitment of Krishna Dwaipayana – Veda Vyasa, towards the preservation of the Veda. The whole compendium of Veda as we have it today, is because he gave it a form, a shape and a technique of storage that has survived the onslaught of time and has been recited by generations of Vedic scholars since then.
At the end of this compilation, Veda Vyasa and team gave us the Veda which had 1130 Shakha, recensions. Today, we are left with only 10 Shakha that can be traced. 1120 Shakhas have been lost in the passage of time.
These 10 too seem to be struggling for survival.
Knowledge always needs redaction ever so often to keep it current with the state of the civilization.
India, the land called Bharath, had recognized this aspect as evident from the fact that the Veda itself had gone through so many redactions.
Little wonder, since its name Bharath denotes a land where people relish knowledge. Bha means knowledge and ratha denotes one who relishes knowledge.
World Kiss Day, observed on July 6th every year, aims to make us appreciate a kiss in its own right.
World over, every land blames Europe for introducing kissing to their civilization. The truth is quite different.
Origin From India
Hypothesis of Vaughn Bryant
Vaughn Bryant, Anthropologist at Texas A&M University, traces the origin of kiss to India to around 1500 BCE. He says it travelled from India to Greece with Alexander. The hypothesis of Vaughn Bryant is that “Kiss spread to West with Alexander the Great, when he visited India in 326 BCE”.
Not just hard steel, but soft kiss
It seems that Alexander not only took hard steel from India but also the soft kisses.
In the Vedic scriptures that were last compiled 3100 BCE, that is, 5100 years back, describes lovers kissing – “setting mouth to mouth”.
In Mahabharata too, the events that happened over 5100 years back, there is a mention of an affectionate mouth to mouth kiss.
This shows that kiss has been practised and expressed in Indian literature 5100 years back itself in India.
There are over 30 varieties of kisses explained in different text of India. 8 of them are of the passionate variety which is detailed in Kama Sutra.
8 Types of Kiss in Kama Sutra
The Indian literature Kama Sutra, one of the early texts of the world mentions 8 types of passionate kisses for different occasions.
The English word Kiss has its roots in the Samskrt word Busa, Bosa. In Latin, it came to be called Basium. There is also another word for kiss in Samskrt, called Chumba. Which is why magnet, the kissing stone is called Chumbaka in Samskrt.
The old English word for Kiss was Cyssan, which could have come from the Germanic word Kussan, which in turn, could have come from the Greek word, Kynein.
Jesus identified through Kiss
When Judas identified Jesus, after the Last Supper, it was through a kiss.
Kiss: A Single Act Many Messages
There are many types of kiss.
- When parents kiss their children, it means something.
- When parents kiss each other, it has a different meaning.
- A gambler kisses the dice for luck.
- Jews kiss the Torah.
- Catholics kiss of Peace.
According to scientists, about 80 million bacteria are transferred from one mouth to another during a passionate kiss.
Types of Kisses
Martin Von Kemp
Martn Von Kemp who lived between 1642 and 1683, wrote a 1040 page encyclopaedia on kissing – “Opes Polly Historicum….de Oculis” has listed 20 different varieties of kiss, some of them being,
- Kiss bestowed by superiors on inferiors
- Hypocritical Kiss
German language has 30 different types of kiss. One variety is Nachkussen – “Making up for kisses that have been omitted”.
In New Zealand
In New Zealand, the Maori, the local tribe’s greeting each other was by rubbing the noses.
Kiss not a World Affair
The next work traceable on Kiss is by Charles Darwin. In his voyages, he observed many things and recorded them. Apart from his famous book, “The Origin of Species”, where he speaks about ‘Evolution’, he also wrote another book called, “The Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals”, wherein he writes ‘kissing is replaced, in various parts of the world, by the rubbing of noses’.
Greetings in other part
- Eskimo Kiss- Inuit – Smelling each other’s cheek
- Africa Pacific and Americas culture did not know about mouth kissing till their contact with European explorers
- Lapse of Finland – Both sexes bathed together in nudity, but kissing was not practised
Not widely known
A study on kissing habits show that among the traditional tribes of the world, less than half of them are aware of kissing.
Observation In China
The Workers Daily in Beijing, China wrote an article about ‘Kiss’ in 1990.
“The invasive Europeans brought the kissing custom to China, but it is regarded as a vulgar practice which is all too suggestive of cannibalism.”
Brand from India
We see that kiss is not widespread in world cultures, but some race invented it and spread worldover. The earliest literary reference is in the Veda. Later in Kama Sutra and in many temple sculptures in India.
Kiss is a kissing brand of India.
Science is in a quest to understand matter and its interplay with the forces of Nature. This quest goes all the way back to when matter was created at the moment of creation of the universe, namely the Big Bang.
On the other hand, spirituality is the quest to understand “Who am I?” and “Where did I come from?”, leading back all the way to the inter play of subtle and gross at the time of creation of universe and from then on.
In essence, the interaction between science and spirituality is just not in the present or in the immediate past of a few millenia but goes back in thought all the way to the moment of Creation. It is here that both science and spirituality have a single point of origin and convergence.
Convergence of Science and Spirituality
The news of the finding of the imprint of the God particle by sciences has injected an interest into particle physics.
What is this God particle? Why is it called God particle?
The terming of the new find particle in science as God Particle, is a quirk of fate.
The Nobel laureate physicist Leon Lederman when he was writing about this elusive particle, in exasperation wrote it down as ‘Goddamn particle’. The editor of the article toned down the exasperation and simply termed it as ‘God particle’. That is how it came to be called in common parlance. The typical term given for this particle is Higgs Boson particle. This is because Prof Peter Higgs in a scientific article had proposed first, that such a particle should be existing to create mass in Creation.
God Particle – A Representation
By identifying the imprint of this particle now, it is this postulate of Prof Higgs that is now being scientifically pin pointed to.
This sort of sequence of events – a scientific postulate being placed in a scientific paper and the actual discovery happening much later, has been one of the features of advancement of science.
History of Science
Before the planet Neptune was physically observed in the skies, it was mathematically calculated in a scientific paper, that such a planet should exist because of the gravitation tug of planet Uranus. It was only much later that Neptune was physically observed, thus establishing the postulate to be true.
Similarly, the Russian scientist George Gamow had postulated the existence of Cosmic Micro Wave Background Radiation (CMBR) which was later recorded by the two scientists Arno Penzias and Robert Wilson.
Arno Penzias and Robert Wilson
Like this, finding of the imprint of God particle is one more step in understanding science and the Creation of this Universe. This Particle is called Higgs Boson. Boson comes from the name of the Indian Scientist Satyendra Nath Bose, in recognition of his contribution.
The God Particle
In the case of the God Particle, this particle has been elusive for, it self-destructs itself after one trillionth of a second after coming into existence. In this short duration of its existence, it helps the other particles create the mass that this universe is made of.
Which is why, the understanding of this particle is essential in the understanding of this universe. Hence, understanding it will lead to a major breakthrough in science.
If it were really a God particle as touted in common parlance, why should it self destruct itself within a flash of a moment of its creation? A God particle should exist from before the Creation, to after dissolution of the Universe and not be in existence for just a fleeting moment.
Having thus seen that calling it a God particle would not be an apt phrase, let us see in simple parlance, what the Higgs Boson Particle exists for?
The Universe came into existence from the Cosmic Egg after the Big Bang, the Cosmic Egg’s dimension being of just a point. How could such an infinitely small speck create all that is there in this universe?
The earth itself is a heavy body but pales into insignificance when compared to the sizes of the solar system, the galaxy or the universe.
The moot question is then how did the infinitely small cosmic egg have the capacity to create this infinitely huge universe with all its mass?
It needs a trigger. If so, what is that trigger?
This is the search of this elusive Higgs Boson Particle. Since life of particle is only one trillionth of a second, it will not be possible to capture the particle. What is possible through the advance scientific practices at CERN and other places is to get a glimpse of an imprint of this Higgs Boson Particle. Getting this glimpse of this imprint itself is a major breakthrough.
Large Hadron Collider at CERN, Geneva to detect the God Particle
Stability from 3
This Higgs Boson adds mass only when three quark particles get together. Just two are not found to form a stable proton with mass. These three quarks that group together are said to possess different colours. The term colour has been used by the physicists to denote that they possess distinct traits, qualities, characteristics.
Three Quarks forming Stable Protons with Mass in Higgs Field
Immediately after its function of adding the mass, Higgs Boson ceases to exist. This is the nature of Nature.
It is this concept of the existence of the need of a basic three to create matter, is also what has been discussed in Indian knowledge system as Universe being created from Trigunathmika Prakrithi. Prakrithi is the nature of the Creation of this Universe and Triguna are the three characteristics which help in this Creation process. The process itself being called Trivrtitkaranam, “the act of the three when they come together”.
Triguna – Satva, Rajas and Tamas, the 3 characteristics
Not Really Parallel But Synergized Systems
Like this there are many interesting parallels that we find between the Indian knowledge system and the modern research of Creation of the Universe carried out at CERN.
For example, in the Indian knowledge system, the Cosmic Egg is known as Hiranyagarbha, meaning “a golden hued womb” and the Big Bang is expressed as Brahmanda Visphotak, Universal explosion.
The Cosmic Soup has been described as one in which the sub atomic particles such as quarks and gluons are floating freely without the influence of any force upon them until the presence of a God particle, Higgs Boson creates an energy field in which they interact and gain mass.
Indian traditional thought has spoken of Narayana depicted as resting calmly in the Primordial Waters. All these also depict a state of inertness and equilibrium as found in the cosmic soup before the presence of God particle. Narayana is symbolically depicted with a consort, Lakshmi, who arises from the same primordial waters. Lakshmi denotes the source of all matter and material wealth and is the bi product of the churn of these primordial waters. We thus see a similarity of a process that takes the early stage of universe from an inert state to a material form, albeit, the expressions being in a different style.
The CMBR concept is akin to the OM which is all pervading through the Universe. Like this, there are many other parallels between modern science and ancient traditional Indian knowledge system.
OM and the Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation
Going beyond parallels, the Indian knowledge systems offer deeper insights into aspects of Creation going to stages even before Big Bang and into the process of creation of matter.
All this has been brought out in our book, Creation – Srishti Vigyana and a film with the same name by the researcher couple D. K. Hari and D. K. Hema Hari of Bharath Gyan.
One of the senior physicists of CERN Geneva, Dr. Archana Sharma, the only Indian, permanent scientist member in CERN, found the parallels interesting enough to come to Bangalore, India and offer scientific inputs on the parallels and act in the documentary film made by Art of Living-Bharath Gyan, Bangalore. More on this subject can be accessed at www.bharathgyan.com.
Though spoken of as parallels, we see that there is a potential synergy in knowledge systems.
Synergy of science and ancient knowledge systems
Higgs Boson, the God particle may be invisible and elusive, for it self-destructs itself after one trillionth of a second after coming into existence. But the contributions of Sir Satyendra Nath Bose will be ever ‘visible’ and remembered.
Sir Satyendra Bose was born on 1st January 1894 in Kolkata. He had his education from the Hindu school in Kolkata, and intermediate from the Presidency College at his home city. He had his higher education in BSc Mathematics and Msc Mathematics from the University of Calcutta.
Boson from Bose
Sir Satyendra Bose is best known for his works on quantum mechanics. In the word Higgs Boson, Boson comes from the name of Bose, in recognition of his contribution. Bose is the anglicized version for the Bengali / Bangla word Basu. Basu is the Bengali way of saying Vasu meaning earth, wealth and worth. The wealth of Satyendra Nath’s contribution to science cannot be buried under the earth, and the real worth of it is being explored today by the Quantum Physicists.
More on Higgs Boson in our book and film “Creation – Srishti Vignana”.
Bose Einstein Statistics
Satyendra Nath worked together with another famous scientist, Albert Einstein. Albert Einstein’s generalizations of Bose’s work led to the system of statistical quantum mechanics known as Bose Einstein statistics.
A Bose Einstein condensate (BEC) is a state of matter of a dilute gas of bosons cooled to temperatures very close to absolute zero (that is, very near 0 K or −273.15 °C). Under such conditions, a large fraction of bosons occupy the lowest quantum state, at which point macroscopic quantum phenomena become apparent.
This transition to BEC occurs below a critical temperature, which for a uniform three-dimensional gas consisting of non-interacting particles with no apparent internal degrees of freedom is given by the formula:
The other contribution and awards
Bose also made significant advances in the description of all forces by a single field theory, x-ray diffraction and the interaction of electromagnetic waves with the ionosphere.
He was awarded the Padma Vibhushan in 1945. Several other awards were bestowed on Bose during his life time for his rich contributions to Physics.
One of the architects of Science
Sir Satyendra Nath Bose passed away on February 4th, 1974.
In 1986, the S.N. Bose National Centre for Basic Sciences was established by an act of Parliament, Government of India, in Salt Lake, Calcutta. It is an autonomous research institute dedicated to basic research in mathematics sciences under the Department of Science and Technology of Government of India.
A stamp has been released in his honour by the government of India.
It will be apt to state that, Sir Satyendra Nath Bose is one of the architects of science in India, especially in the quantum sphere.
Indian thought since eons ago has delved deep into what causes Creation of the Universe and drawn out far reaching insights. These indescribable understandings were scaled down to a common level using metaphors and symbolic personages / divinities.
One such is the feminine divinity, Lakshmi.
Lakshmi, is the embodiment of wealth, prosperity and has her origins in the primordial waters from which came the Universe.
Lakshmi coming forth from primordial Waters
Lakshmi, the Lakshya – Goal, Purpose
The etymological root for Lakshmi is Laksh meaning goal, target. From Laksh comes lakshya. Lakshmi is the goal that people chase continuously in their life for their basics as well as comforts.
The purpose of Creation, Srishti, the Big Bang, Brahmanda Visphotak, is to create this Universe. It is to create all the astral bodies, the galaxies, the sun, the earth and the planets dotting all over the universe.
Creation of all this, is the very purpose of the creation of the universe. This is the Lakshya, the goal of the Big Bang. In a way, creation of matter is not a by-product of the Big Bang, but is the very goal, the purpose of the Big Bang.
Life in the Universe is a continuous cycle driven by the goal to incessantly construct, destroy and reconstruct. Be it at the scale of wealth or sub-atomic particles, cells, all living beings, stars and the very cosmos itself.
Contrary to the oft expressed statement that the cosmos is chaotic, the cosmos is driven by an order. It has a purpose. It has a Lakshya.
This Lakshya of the cosmos, is embodied by Lakshmi.
Lakshmi as the Lakshya of the cosmos is also regarded as the consort of the divinity Vishnu overseeing the sustenance and order in the cosmos.
Life is driven by Lakshmi, the goal, the will to live, live well.
This goal, this will, forces the cosmos to go from a state of being inert and quiescent to a state of liveliness and activity.
In the Indian pantheon of divinities, Goddess Lakshmi represents prosperity and wealth as it is the will, the intent, the goal that incites and forces things to act to create and multiply. The essence of wealth and prosperity is denoted by plentitude, the ability to multiply.
So, at a gross level, Lakshmi stands for all forms of movable and immovable assets, be it in the form of gold, silver, currency, property etc. Lakshmi denotes not just wealth but material that sustains life on earth such as food grains, cattle, water etc.. She represents that material which sustains the cosmos itself.
The basic nature of Lakshmi though, is impermanence.
Impermanence of Lakshmi
In Indian tradition, Lakshmi is shown seated or standing on a lotus in a pond. The lotus is typically shown with large leaves and droplets of water rolling on them.
When you put droplets of water on a lotus leaf, the water keeps on rolling. The water globules do not show an attachment to the lotus leaves.
Similarly, wealth, matter has no attachment to people, time. It is constantly rolling.
Lakshmi never stays in one place. She moves along, in the process distributing wealth as she moves.
This role of Lakshmi is exemplified by the proposal and discovery of the God Particle.
The God Particle
The Higgs-Boson particle commonly referred to as the God Particle, is expressed as that which enables matter to get created by enabling mass based particles, i.e. matter, to come into being. The presence of the God Particle, forces massless sub atomic particles called quarks, gluons to come together and form a stable particle with mass.
God Particle – A Representation
Impermanence of God Particle
Having achieved the purpose for which it came into existence, its goal, the Higgs-Boson, self-destructs itself to appear again at another place to create fresh matter.
The God Particle thus seems like a catalyst, inciting the creation of matter in the Universe. There is a purpose, a goal, a Lakshya to the God Particle.
We see a similarity between the God Particle and the role being discharged by the impermanent, constantly on the move, Lakshmi with Her Lakshya too.
Lakshmi shows the way
Will this understanding of Lakshmi, act as a catalyst to induce us to learn more about our cosmos and its Creation, from the metaphoric expressions of our ancients?
Where there is a will, a Lakshya, there is a way.
Ashada Ekadasi, also known as Maha Ekadasi, Padma Ekadasi and Devpodhi Ekadasi is observed on the 11th lunar day of Indian month, Ashada.
This day is especially significant to the Vaishnava community, as Lord Vishnu enters into Yoganidra on this day, at the Ksheer Sagara, Ocean of Milk.
Lord Vishnu in Ksheer Sagara
This Ekadasi is of great importance at the Vitthala temple in Maharashtra People from all walks of life from many parts of Maharashtra and other parts of India too, converge in Pandharpur today for a nightful of singing prayers to Lord Vishnu.
One of the most popular forms of Vishnu worshipped in the Maratha land is that of Vithoba or Vitthala. The most famous temple for Vithoba is in Pandharpur. Pandharpur has thus been one of the main religious sites of Maratha land since ancient times.
Lord Vitthala at Pandharpur Temple
Vitta means “brick”. When Vishnu appeared in front of His devotee, His devotee was busy caring for His parents. He offered Vishnu a brick and asked Him to wait on it till he could return after tending to his parents. Vishnu stood on the brick and the whole moment was frozen in stone as an idol.
Devotee offering brick to Lord Vishnu
Vithoba, Vitthala is the name given to Vishnu standing on a brick waiting for His sincere devotee to return.
In the famous Aarti of Vitthala in Marathi, it is said that the Lord has been standing for 28 life spans, waiting for His devotee.
Pilgrims from Pandharpur have travelled far and wide from Kashi to Rameshwaram spreading this story of the devoutness of God to His devotee. Note, it is devoutness of God to devotee too and not just devoutness of the devotee to God alone.
Such a message is singular to Indian thought where it is not for the devotee to fear God but to realize divinity and live with the divine forces in a state of togetherness and mutual reverence for each other.