Ode To The Enchanting Rain!!!

Penned by: Aiswarya Murali.

 

                      “Forth burst the winds,

                        Down come the lightning flashes;”

A plain area, with trees and buildings which no one would bother to take a second look; it rains for five whole minutes, and lo behold! It looks exhilarating –a paradise on Earth! Those tiny droplets of water that bequeaths such magic to Earth-is it God given or is it Scientific?

I remember learning about the water cycle in my fourth grade, about how water evaporates, becomes water vapour, then condenses in the clouds and finally comes down as rainfall. I accepted this theory without questions as all students would do. But now walking in the rain made me to ponder about this beautiful creation. So many questions popped up in my mind all of a sudden. It was as if I had walked in the midst of a brainstorming session.

“It is supposed to rain due to the NE and SW monsoon but why do we get rain during other seasons as well?”

“On a perfectly sunny day, why does it start raining all of a sudden?”

“Why does it rain more in one part and less in another part?”

“Why does it rain more in one year and less in the next in the same place?”

And so the barrage of questions continued even after I was under the safety of my room. This set me thinking. I tried asking some people and I got a mixed bag of responses ranging from  “Ellam avan seiyyal” meaning “Everything is the act of God”, to “science is a complicated science, there are scientifically proved explanations for such phenomena.” I even got this response from a contemporarian who is inclined towards science and spiritualism equally, “Every phenomena on Earth follows a set of norms but everything has its own exceptions.”

Not convinced, I delved deeper into the realms of the reality behind the process of “Raining”. “Has no one ever thought about this before?”I wonder. “Of course not! There are numerous poems ranging from ‘Pitter patter comes the rain’ to ‘Rain rain go away’”.

And so began my journey of researching the researched articles about Rain.

Kautilya’s Arthasastra is a book on Statecraft, with considerable information on administrative procedures of the governments of his days (c. 4th century BCE).He describes under the chapter on agriculture how to measure rainfall in the important provinces of his kingdom. Since rainfall figures were collected by empowered officials and used by the decision makers, Kautilya’s methods are expected to be quite rational, Quite intriguingly , he mentions that rainfall for the season depends on the visibility of Venus.

” tasyopalabdih

                      Sukrodayastamayacarebhyah

                                                                           Sukrasdrstiriti||”

At first reading this appears to be an astrological prescription , based on belief rather than empirical observations. However, on closer scrutiny this statement is seen to reflect the near three year oscillation in monsoon rainfall. Kautilya expects good rainfall if Venus were to be sighted in the Eastern sky during the  monsoon season. The season being of four months according to this text .This precursor for making a forecast should refer to the first month of the season. Now, Venus as a morning object is visible for about eight months and becomes invisible for about 50 days, before rising in the evening in the western sky. The synodic period of Venus is nearly 584 days. Hence, once seen in the early part of the monsoon season, Venus will not be seen in the subsequent season, which is only one year away. Also when seen next after its cycle of 584 days,the season will not be rainy. But interestingly after one more round, that is , after nearly three years, Venus would be visible in the beginning of the monsoon season. Thus proving Kautilya’s prediction to be correct.

Even before Kautilya, Utpala(9th – 10th century CE) in his commentary on the Brhat-samhita of Varaha-mihira quotes extensively from the works of Parasara, who describes an ancient observational tradition originating around 1400 BCE. An important property ascribed to Venus by Parasara is arka-varsa-nigraham or control of sun induced rains. Thus it is quite likely that the three year rule associated with Venus visibility was known in India since ancient times.

So at least one question resolved, I thought as I filed away that information. Now for the next question.

Within the year rainfall also exhibits fortnightly, monthly and seasonal fluctuations. These are generally described in the texts in terms of the naksatras. The position of the sun with respect to the fixed stars as observed from the Earth, changes over long periods of time due to precession. Hence matching of time-marking statements and folkloric proverbs with modern day civil calendar dates has to be done after correcting the dates given in the almanacs. An objection to this may be to raise the issue of whether in ancient times the solstices were observed on correct dates. That the ancients observed this within an error band, better than at present , is evidenced by stone and copper-plate inscriptions with dates for the winter solstice available in the volumes of The Indian Antiquary. For example, the Sravana belagola Kannada inscription of Hoysala Viraballala records the winter solstice in the Saka year 1104 to be on pusya bahula tadige sukravara. This corresponds to Friday,25th December 1181 ce. Similarly, according to the Terawan copper-plate inscription of Kalyana, the winter solstice was observed in the Saka year 1182 on pusya vaadi saptami sanidina, corresponding to Saturday,25 december 1260 ce .As recently as in the 18th century ,the melkote inscription of Krishnaraja Wodeyar of Mysore, records uttarayana-makara sankranti on 29 december 1724 ce. Blind following of the texts have led to marking of the date of winter solstice as 14 january in the pancangas. Hence the traditional dates of the expecting rainfall depending on the Sun’s naksatra as given in the pancangas are to be advanced by about three weeks for practical use in agricultural operations.

“Okay”,so I thought,”there are proper documented evidences for the inter and intra annual variations in rainfall”. But then I remembered the story of Tansen, one of the nine gems in the court of Akbar being forced to sing raag Deepak to prove his expertise in the arena of music. The raag supposedly causes flames to shoot out and thus make the lamps alight themselves. And so Tansen’s daughters sang raag malhar to cool the area. Raag malhar being the exact opposite of Raag Deepak brings rain.This was the story that came to my mind when I thought about rain. Is it a reel or real history?

tansen

tansen

In carnatic music Amruthavarshini is the raga that is supposed to bring rain. Even in  the Puranas, it is written that in Tretayug, when ravana set fire to hanuman’s tail, he in turn set fire to the entire Lanka. Ravana played Amruthavarshini raga on his veena and saved the city by bringing forth rain.

This is a documented story of Shri Muthusamy Dikshitar. Once he was passing through a village Ettayapuram in Thirunelveli District. There was an acute drought. Since he was well known for his musical prowess , the people in the village requsted him to sing and bring forth rain. He sang a kriti “Anandamritha Varshini” in raga Amruthavarshini. When he sang the line “varshaya varshaya varshaya”, it started raining heavily flooding the village and he had to sing the same song with a slight modification. Instead of “varshaya varshaya varshaya”, he sang “sthambaya sthambaya” to stop the rains.”

Other written accounts include those of  Meera Bai,devotee of Lord Krishna,Baiju Bawra,Baba Ramdas,Tantarang,Tanras Khan,Bilas Khan. The saddest part is that both the ragas have lost their “swaroop” among the ages because there was no one who could remember its complicated rhythms and beats .So how can a raga cause rains? During earthquakes, buildings collapse when the seismic vibrations of the Earth match with those of the buildings. In the same way the vibrations of the raga when sung correctly will match with the vibrations of the rain bearing clouds like nimbus and bring them closer to the land, thus making it possible to rain.

Like yin and yang, dance and music are complementary to each other but in a sense similar. Both music as well dance can produce rains. Even to this day traditional tribal dances are being performed to bring rain in many parts of South-western America. They use jewellery like turquoise and match rhythms learnt from ancestors to create the perfect vibrations which will bring forth rain. The Pueblos for example have a particularly intricate rain dance. The Cherokee tribe, an ethnic Native American tribe from the South-eastern US also have their own rain dance.

Rain dance of the pueblos

Rain dance of the pueblos

native rain dance

native rain dance

A very interesting story in the form of a person named Charles Hatfield who stumped everyone by creating rain by concocting a mixture of chemicals. The modern day explanation to this “miracle” would be that for a rain drop or a cloud droplet to form, a particle of smoke or dust is required. Was this why perhaps the reason why ancient vedic seers prescribed a yagna as a prescription for rain? The chemicals derived by burning the organic compounds like fat ,wood ,etc may release a compund similar to the one released by Hatfield and thus the “miracle” of bringing forth rain is achieved.

Whatever be the scientific reasons behind the process of “rain making”, the beauty that the rain beholds to everything it touches is amazing and awe inspiring. In fact it could be more aptly called poetic. The magic that Rain holds can never be expressed scientifically nor can it be painted pictorially. I conclude with the lines thus mentioned.

                   “SING forth and laud Parjanya, son of Heaven, who

                      sends the gift of rain. May he provide our pasturage.

                      Parjanya is the God who forms in kine, in mares, in

                      plants of earth, And womankind, the germ of

                      life. Offer and pour into his mouth oblation rich in

                     savoury juice: May he for ever give us food.”

The Asymptote to Inspiration.

Penned by : Shreyas Prakash.

In one of the primal and simplistic ways in understanding our surroundings, we try to put it in terms of two things. The Cause and the effect. Quite often than not, the strangest connections are made from this interweaving ranging from a nexus between Schoolteachers to Sumo wrestlers, from Ku Klux Klan to Drug dealers. Even for a devastating hurricane that wreaks havoc, there seems to be a nobler butterfly hovering around some no-man’s land which seems to cause it.

The unifying factor in my opinion seems to be the chain reactions that cause and its sublime repercussions that further cause and effect in an infinite loop of eventuality. In our quest to perceive from ground zero, We hypothesized facts which eventually did turn out to be true and on developing it further we came to establish a framework of axioms through reasoning and factual understanding. This method of acquiring , the hypothetico-deductive method- Of forming a hypothesis, testing it out by performing experiments, trying to find some consistency in the observed values and deduct the working of the underlying principle on this basis. But what seems to have been forgotten is the reasoning behind how the hypothesis was derived in the first place.

We considered the ‘causal’ butterfly that flapped to be obnoxious and we ended up with a lopsided understanding of our perception of reality. We often dealt with the effects rather than the cause in our dwellings of plausible explanations as that task was handed over to the theologians and behavioral psychologists to predetermine how the hypothesis was formulated in the first place and the inspiration behind it. This study was often ignored and looked down upon since time immemorial as It often dealt with consciousness and their inability in quantifying it in terms of mechanistic terms. How the phenomenon of inspiration forms a hypothesis out of nowhere turning out to be true is one of the most intriguing questions which remains unanswered in our quest to perceive in mechanistic terms.

Where does the hypothesis come from?” – I ponder.

In this quest, the difficulties resulted from the converse being false. The set of formulated results and deductions don’t necessarily give back the hypothesis. It was only the other way round. Even in the annals of mathematics, there are proposed systems of mathematical reasoning to answer certain questions which are generally straightforward, But there is no systematic, step-by-step explanation for generating mathematical proofs and systematic ideas such as Lebesgue integration and Group theory.

If hypothesis in science and systems of reasoning in mathematics are not generated by any systematic procedures, then what is the source? We find that they arise almost universally in the minds of the investigator by the phenomenon of inspiration.

One of the most classical examples being Archimedes’ discovery of the principle of specific gravity while taking bath which prompts him to go all the way to the king’s palace naked, to show him his discovery.

Such inspirations occur when people are not consciously thinking about the problem without putting any effort and most of the times, One may perceive the solution in entirety. Generally the inspiration appears as a sudden awareness to the problem’s solution accompanied by the conviction that the solution is correct.

Karl Gauss after spending years in solving a mathematical problem became aware of the solution which he describes as follows

” Finally, two days ago, I succeeded…. Like a sudden flash of lightning, the riddle happened to be solved. I myself cannot say what was the conducting thread which connected what I previously knew with what made my success possible.”

Henri Poincaré, a famous nineteenth century mathematician found the solution to his problem while on an occasional geological field trip. He describes the sudden inspiration as follows

“At the moment when I put the step the idea came to me without anything in my former thoughts seemed to have paved the way for it, that the transformations I had used were identical with those of non-Euclidean geometry”.

Although inspiration occurs after a certain period of intense but unconscious effort to solve the problem, this is not always the case. Mozart used to get inspired by many musical notes which he builds on by making the entire composition in his mind palace before laying his hands on the piano. Riemann, in his study of the Zeta functions, sketched the proof at the time of his death which was proven only after seventy-five years of his demise as there was no sufficient mathematical exposition required to solve it. The most surprising was the fact that at his time, even the rudimentary principles pertaining to that theorem was not formulated, which was double dutch for his fellow mathematicians.

From this, It could be understood that there are two significant features of the phenomenon of inspiration. First, It’s source lies beyond the subject’s conscious perception; and second, It provides the subject with information unobtainable by any conscious effort. Poincaré called this action of the entity with the ‘sublimal self‘ referred to as the ‘unconscious’ or the ‘sub-conscious’ by psychoanalysts.

But the present materialistic philosophy of modern science holds that the mind is nothing more than a machine, and all the phenomenon including consciousness are nothing more than the products of mechanical interactions even though no one has been able to give an adequate explanation of the differences between a conscious and an unconscious machine. Even when they formulate, they are just mimicking the external behaviour of a conscious entity in terms of mechanistic terms, formally set forth by the British mathematician, Alan Turing. He argued that since whatever a human being can do a computer can imitate, a human being is merely a machine, ignoring the subjective perception of consciousness which was the basic standpoint.

Let’s analyse the Alan Turing model very deeply. Let’s just accept for now that the mechanistic explanation of inspiration is true. Considering the phenomenon of inspiration being duplicated by a machine for instance. Let’s make a very generous upper limit of the combinations of symbols and expressions that could be stored in the brain. By taking an angstrom unit to store a specific combination for a billionth of a time and evaluating it for a period of hundred years, we get 3.2*(10^46)  which is a very decent upper limit but It would still be infinitesimal compared to the combination of symbols one would have to perform for performing a mathematical proof. Besides, mathematical proofs require more than mathematical reasonings, It requires emotional sensibility, aesthetic sense and appreciation of beauty and symmetry which machine intelligence fails to encapsulate. Considering the mathematical reasoning approach, we make choices at each step which is illustrated as a node in the figure given below.

 Tree map.

As the branches increase, the complexity also increases exponentially. This illustrates that there is a very remote chance for a random combination to give out solutions directly. This convincingly squashes the Turing’s assumption as our Human brain jumps directly to the solution of the problem without going through an extensive trial and error whose iterations could range from anywhere between 10.^46 to a 10.^100 .

Srinivasa Ramanujan, one of the most prominent Indian mathematicians conjured up from his mind, a remarkable and strange formula as the following:

                                             

In fact, this work was given a small tweak after many years and formed the basis for the Chudnovsky algorithm, one of the fastest algorithms in the millennium for the calculation of the value of Pi. 

While looking at the mathematical complexities of this equation; one is bound to be baffled as it just appears in the front doors of their minds without knocking. Many of Ramanujan’s theorems which had kept the mathematicians busy for another hundred years were just conjured up fascinatingly in his mindpalace. Ramanujan claimed that all his mathematical works were divinely inspired. Ramanujan credited his acumen to his family Goddess, Namagiri of Namakkal. He looked to her for inspiration in his work, and claimed to dream of blood drops that symbolised her male consort, Lord Narasimha, after which he would receive visions of scrolls of complex mathematical content unfolding before his eyes.
1

He often said, “An equation for me has no meaning, unless it represents a thought of God.” 

The mechanistic point of view positing the existence of a very powerful algorithm built into our neural circuitry however fails to explain the phenomenon of inspiration  which had led Archimedes, Riemann, Galois, Einstein and Ramanujan into their respective treasure troves. It fails to explain the hypothetical brain algorithm’s extreme complexity and the subjective experience of consciousness as explained above. The Vedic standpoint offers a clearer picture as The Bhagavad Gita offers a description of universal reality where the phenomenon of inspiration automatically falls into picture. The book –‘Consciousness, The missing link’ offers a very vivid explanation regarding this. It states that consciousness is understood to be fundamental feature of reality rather than a byproduct of the combination of non-conscious entities and the ultimate causative principle is unlimitedly complex. It says that we have to understand deeper causative principles or else the phenomenon of inspiration cannot have a plausible explanation altogether.

It has become a commonplace for scientists to look for correspondence between modern physics and ancient Eastern thought and yet again, the picture of reality presented in the Vedic texts has thrown more light into their naive pages. As the texts say, As we try to formulate mathematical approximations closer and closer to reality, our approximations which are like imperfections necessarily tend to diverge without limit due to increasing complexity.

The asymptote to reality diverges at infinity with ever increasing complexity, and We indeed live in an intriguing li’le world were truth is stranger than fiction. Unquote.

The Shivathaandavam in microcosm.

Penned by : Shreyas Prakash.

Shifting the timescale to 1895, There was something unusual occuring. The western world had started drawing parallels between Eastern philosophy and Modern physics in its exploration of the microcosm unbeknownst. Nikola Tesla, undoubtedly the greatest physicist-cum-futurist of all time was deeply involved in a correspondence with Swami Vivekananda, of the Advaita Vedanta order of Vedic philosophy with regards to the demystifying the double-headed monster of that time, Energy and Matter. The Swami in his discussions with Tesla, mentions about the wave-particle duality as stated in the Upanishads with regards to the concepts of ‘Brahman’ – The Absolute,  ‘Mahat or Isvara’ – Primal creative energy and ‘Prana’ and ‘Akasha’, the sanskrit terminologies for energy and matter. He then advises Tesla to make a crossroad between European science and Vedantic Cosmology, foreseeing a perfect coalescence between these two.

Tesla with Swami Vivekananda.

Tesla with Swami Vivekananda.

                           Unfortunately, Tesla fails in his quest and the solution to this enigma came only in 1905, in a paper by Albert Einstein. The world came to know that energy and matter were Siamese twins after all, But by then Swamiji was gone and the connecting of the maps was delayed.

                       After Einstein’s Annus mirabilis, Neils Bohr, Heisenberg and Erwin Schrodinger, the founders of Quantum physics involved in an avid reading of the Vedic texts, drawing injunctions and correlating it to their QFT experiments which set the ball rolling in this field.

Heisenberg once stated-

Quantum theory will not look ridiculous to people who have read Vedanta.

Schrodinger in his book, ‘Meine Weltansicht’ even stated a verse from Mundaka Upanishad regarding the Vedic understanding of the interconnectivity of the living entities in the fourth-dimensional continuum. Vedanta established the framework by reflecting in the unity and continuity of wave mechanics. The following quote by Oppenheimer had been adapted by the Bhagavad Gita, which was postulated by Heisenberg in his uncertainty principle.

If we ask, for instance, whether the position of the electron remains the same, we must say “no”; if we ask whether the position of the electron changes with time, we must say “no”; if we ask whether the electron is at rest, we must say “no”; if we ask whether it is in motion, we must say “no.”

                                          –  J. Robert Oppenheimer

Bhahir antas ca bhutanam acaram caram eva ca|

suksmatvad tad avijneyam durastham cantike ca tat||

[Within and within all living entities, that Ultimate Truth is stationary as well as mobile; on account of its being subatomic, that Ultimate Truth is incomprehensible and is far away and is yet so near.]

                                          – The Bhagavad Gita 

The ball which was set rolling by the above-mentioned pioneers of quantum theory, came to Fritzof Capra’s hands; an American physicist who started drawing comparisons between modern physics and eastern mysticism connecting the cosmic dance of Shiva with particle physics. The feeling of getting-lost-in-the-woods was uprooted when sacred eastern texts added gravity to the existing notions. An effect of interdisciplinary convergence, prompting people to dwelve into the strange behaviors of the microcosm with conviction.

According to Vedic texts, Shiva Nataraj (The Lord of dance) performing the cosmic dance symbolises the engulfing of the universe in the cosmic cycles of creation and destruction as well as the cycle of birth and death. It also symbolises the unity of all things, unified by a sense of consciousness (Brahman). Here again, the concept of duality is portrayed as a symbolical paradox, uniting the inner tranquility and the outside display of the blazing inferno originating from his third eye which blazes like a wildfire. More and more analogies like this and from even Chinese symbology of Yin and Yang established the very essence of the Vedas, which is in the oneness of universe showcasing its inter-connectedness, inter-dependency and inter-relatedness.

For instance, When a scientist conducts an experiment, let’s say -In examining the trajectory of an electron, his very action of observing the electron is inducing an effect on its path. In a sense, He is more of a ‘participator’ than an observer. This shows a fine example of how different dimensions of space-time continuum are interacting with each other.  Although the laws governing Classical and Einsteinian physics are quite chalk and cheese, understanding the reasons behind it involves a change-of-basis approach through the eyes of the Llamas of Tibet who’ve illustrated this dynamic unity of polar opposites with the simple example of a ball in circular motion and its projection. If this movement is projected onto a screen, it becomes an oscillation between two extremities. Along some projection It would seems as if it is accelerating and decelerating. But it is all the same! This analogy becomes apparent as one penetrates deeper and deeper into the matter, down into the realm of subatomic particles where the Shivathaandavam is at play.

In his book, ‘The World of Elementary particles’, Kenneth Ford says that the complicated examples of creation and destruction of virtual particles which look quite horrendous are perfectly real as every subatomic particle goes through this dance of creation and destruction given below.

Cosmic shower

Feynman's diagrams.

Feynman’s diagrams.

Virtual interactions.

Virtual interactions.

Protons emitting and reabsorbing virtual pions.

Protons emitting and reabsorbing virtual pions.

The term used by Ford is ‘dance’ as the ideas of rhythm and dance automatically come into one’s mind while imagining the flow of energy going through the patterns that make up the modern-world, involving in a continual cosmic dance.

In his cosmic dance.

In his cosmic dance.

Lord Shiva reminds us that the manifold forms in this world are ‘maya’ (Illusionary) and ever changing as he keeps creating and dissolving them in a ceaseless flow of dance which confirms with the the quantum field theory that all interactions between the constituents of matter takes place through the emission and absorption of virtual particles. More than that, the dance of creation and destruction is the basis of the very existence of matter, since all material particles self interact by emitting and reabsorbing virtual particles. Modern physics has revealed us that every subatomic particle not only performs an energy dance; but also is an energy dance, a pulsating process of creation and destruction.

A  stochastic continuum whose deterministic behavior is seemingly undecipherable, an energy dance showcasing the inherent harmony within the chaos. A harmony that unites us all.

 P.S: Sorry for the excessive use of scientific jargons though, I had to make sure a logical and scientific framework was established in order to effectively narrate the metaphysical phenomenon. 🙂

The Chanakyan cerebration.

Penned by: Shreyas Prakash.

 History as a subject was never my cup of tea, to be frank. Seemingly irrelevant dates and figures about various kings and their places of conquest never did strike a chord with me. Infact, the whole procedure of digesting them down and writing an exam on them seemed tedious, not providing enough kick to my grey cells. But the days kept passing by and it was finally eighth grade and that’s when we had chapters relating to the Indian freedom struggle, Maratha empire and the Mughal dynasty to name a few. And that’s also when Mauryan empire came to picture. The wow-moment occurred. At its largest extent, the empire stretched to the north along the northern boundaries of Himalayas, to the east till Assam and to the west till Afghanistan.

                    I was in hunt of a role model, an idealist, a person who served the Vedic ideal quintessentially. And that’s when Chanakya alias Vishnugupta alias Kautilya completely floored me with his complete vaishnavite qualities of philanthropy, renunciation from material attachments and practise of righteousness which later prompted him to take a vow in kiboshing the Alexander the Great’s army from establishing their foothold on the eastern side of the Indian subcontinent for his concern pertaining to the eudaimonia of the Indian subcontinent after being trained in the Vedic gurukula of Taxila. On examining the different facets of his personality and its subtleties, I came to know that He was a man to be probed even more thoroughly. His every act conveyed a message to the masses, and so to me he seemed to be a perfect role-model for the contemporary civilization which requires a Vedic messiah whose very life served as an example for the maxim- ‘Simple Living, High Thinking’.

               Born in Pataliputra (modern Bihar) and later moving on to Taxila in Gandhar province, Son of a rishi named Chanak, Chanakya started memorizing the ancient scriptures of Vedas at a very early age. Some of the most toughest portions of the Vedas were easily by gulped down by him at puerility. He later went on to become one of the greatest master strategists gifted with extensive knowledge in the Sanatana Dharma, diplomatic finesse in politics, chemistry and even medicine becoming the greatest kingmaker in history. What awed me most was the fact that He was never wrong, although seemingly wrong since He always used to take fifteen to twenty moves ahead of his opponent. For me, He seemed to be the Vedic version of the supercomputer Deep Blue, although an anachronistic equivalent. After becoming the king-maker of the Mauryan empire, heading the council of ministers, unifying the numerous kingdoms of the Indian subcontinent and thrashing the Greek invasion, he then went on to write three books named Nitishastra – a treatise on the practise of Dharma and the do’s and don’ts of the Indian way of life, Arthasastra – on political expertise, often considered to be the magnum opus of Indian politics and Chanakya Niti.  His views on monetary and fiscal policies, international policies were top-notch. He envisioned a self-sufficient economy that did not depend on foreign trade, that efficiently managed land resources with major concern for agriculture.

                     Even when it came to governance, Chanakya exemplified the Vedic polity to a larger extent. The government consisted of a council of ministers who were handpicked from the most eminent Gurukulas of that time by the kingmaker being . Chanakya heading the council of ministers, would then choose the person for whom the title of the king would seem the most befitting. He would keep four tests evaluating them based on wealth, virtue, fear, pleasure and also in the candidate’s wisdom and in his ability to renunciate for the betterment of the society.

Chanakya-Niti (13.8) –

If the king is virtuous, then the subjects are also virtuous. If the king is sinful, then the subjects also become sinful. If he is mediocre, then the subjects are mediocre. The subjects follow the example of the king. In short, as is the king so are the subjects.”

He often reiterated the fact that in the happiness of the kingdom lies the happiness of the ruler and it should also be his only happiness. Under him, the system was so complete that even If the king required to perform any sort of action, It would require the permission of the council spearheaded by him. When there was even the slightest hint of power corrupting the king, the Council had the right to impeach him If on arriving at a common conclusion headed by the kingmaker.

                    Chanakya was exceedingly clever, in fact to define his intelligence was quantitatively unimaginable. He used to have his own people in the opposite camps and would spy the other kings unbeknownst. Although he was keen on ethics to be followed, He used to make his own rules and break them as his ultimate aim was the betterment of the society, for which he was ready to sacrifice anything, even the code of conduct. His farsighted approaches appeared to be prophesies time and again, which helped in squashing the Greek invasion.

                   There are many of his tales that makes us muse about his wit.  Once, Chandragupta’s palace was given for refurbishment and was about to be inaugurated. When the king was about to step in, He stopped him midway and went in first to check the palace thoroughly and when he noticed a crack on the floor and some ants coming out of it with grains of rice, he at once came out of the palace and instructed the guards to seal and burn the palace completely. The bewildered king understood neither head nor tail of what was going on. Chanakya then took him to the other side where he saw charred bodies of the enemies who were actually hiding in the basement of the palace. Chanakya was able to detect it by the movement of the ants and save the day.

                      During those time, poisoning of the kings was a routine affair, so he used to add small amounts of poison to the king’s food, so that the king became resistant towards it.  Once, when a minister intentionally administered a high dose of poison in the royal buffet to kill the king, and when Chandragupta was about to eat, He stopped him at once and told him –“ A king should not eat or drink unless someone else had a part of it in his presence.” When the minister took it forcibly, He at once fell down dead. There were many such stories were he saved the king’s life by his adroitness. One of the excerpts from Chanakyaniti said -“ It is just as difficult to detect an official’s dishonesty as to discover how much water is drunk by the swimming fish”. He was sceptical about the minutest flaws made by the ministers. Perfection seemed to be his second nature, and was always dissapointed when others flawed.

                       After the consolidation of the empire and the Greek evasion, when peace and order was re-established in the Indian subcontinent, Chanakya decided to retire. This decision sent shock waves to the whole of the Mauryan empire. No one would have opted to retire from the post which he was assigned to, Especially when the whole of the Indian subcontinent is under your feet. Although attaining the zenith in statesmanship, He never got intoxicated by it. He lived and died by his principles. This is what sets apart a man among men, the characteristic of not getting corrupted by fame even when the ghastly tentacles of power tries to seize you down.

                  After retiring from the senate, he lived a semi-ascetic life in forest teaching his disciples in Shravana Belagola. He preached his vision of a society where the people are not running behind material pleasures. He believed that control over the sense organs is essential for success in any endeavor and that spiritual development is essential for the internal strength and character of the individual and material pleasures and achievements are always secondary to the spiritual development of the society and country at large.

                      The amalgamation of wisdom and power for the benefit of the society at large inherited by him was a rare spectacle to be witnessed as a part of Indian history. Chanakya was indeed a visionary, a role model of sorts. But nowadays, the word role model is in itself a double-entendre. Chain smokers, child molesters and hippies and all kinds of ‘not-to-be’s who entertain the crowd are becoming role models. The popularity of the cult is given more preference than the ideal and ethics of the individual. This seems to be quite maniacal since my generation is standing for and fantasizing on all that our ancestors never stood for. Martin Luther King had once quoted – “If you don’t have an ideal worth dying for, there is nothing worth living for”. A role model for an ideal based life is missing and Chanakya fills the void although  writers such as Ashwin Sanghi and B.K Chaturvedi have provided semifictional narratives of Chanakya’s life for the sake of adding extra spice to the story, the writers have seesawed between fact and fiction, adding romance and personal revenge to the narrative, thus bollywoodising it.

                    For the generations to come, let the song of Chanakya be sung. For in each street, Let the coaxing nectarian melody be listened to, For when every Indian would be proud of the greatest strategist-cum-politician born of Indian soil. Let the day come!

The Gopuramidal salmonella.

Penned by : Shreyas Prakash.

 

Quite often than not, the engineers and the architects of the present times have appreciated the intelligentsia and the aesthetics behind the ancient structures and have borrowed principles behind the building of these edifices in today’s constructions. How could such great structures of epic proportions be built with so much ingenuity at an age when even the number system was at its infant stage and when the wheel of progress had not even been shaped? We still ponder at this question in our quest to know the past that shaped this world. While reminiscing about ancient and sacrosanct structures, one thing that hovers around the centre of my mindpalace are the pyramids. Simple reason being that this structure took many forms without losing its actual geometry in the likes of the ancient Gopurams of India, the Nubian pyramids of Meroe, the Mayan pyramids of Chichen Itza and so on.

Dwelving deeper into the architectural mystery behind these shapes, several indologists, scientists and even EM Field theorists have investigated the different facets of  the sacrosanct gopurams and pyramids and have found astounding results in the fields of mummification, energy trapping and and also in its meditative revival effects for the human body. In this quest, Miniature versions of the pyramidal shapes based on the scaled dimensions of the Giza pyramids and the Brihadeeswara temple were taken for experimentation and Kirlian photography, GSR, Voltage differential and Electrostatic field effect tests where carried out in plants and animals kept inside this structure and the results were validated. The primary hypothesis of energy concentration around the object was verified after conducting a series of tests.  They were able to mummify food without any external power source. The statistical analysis indicated that there was a noticeable influence of the shape of the pyramid on the rate of growth of the microorganisms. While duplicating Bovis’ experiments which did a similar study on perishable food items, the magnetic field directions were taken into account according to Vaastu Shastra, the oldest known architectural treatise, orienting them along the poles. Mr. Patrick Flanagan, an eminent Pyramid researcher, concluded that the best effect was along the earth’s magnetic orientation. This verified the claim that the construction ideologies of the ancient civilizations were interlinked somehow.

Subjective reports were carried out in humans also. Seven hundred people were chosen for the experiment conducted inside the 6 foot base plastic pyramid. An effect of time distortion was felt by the majority, as the four hours had a subjective impression that only half an hour had passed. Alpha researches also stated that the alpha state of mind was easily obtained while meditating inside the walls of the pyramid. They further stated that the subjective effect of time distortion was due to the ease of obtaining the alpha state wherein the person loses all consciousness of space and time. Extensive results were carried out on animals and even plants leading to outstanding growth spurts in plants while placed inside and also in cats turning vegetarian! Pretty Cool, Huh? The pyramidal shape also has short term effects on food, its taste and also in active dehydration without much decay as some studies show.

Exhibiting the pyramidal design, the Indian Gopurams were also built according to the science of Vaastu Shastra,  dealing with the orientation of the Sun and the Moon, the alignment of the poles to position the design in such a way, that a radial cosmic field could be harnessed. The Vedic architects (Sthapathis) first begin by drafting a square as it is the fundamental form of architecture as it presupposes the circle and results from it. As the other geometric structures such as  icosahedrons, dodecahedrons, tetrahedrons, octahedrons or even stellated dodecahedrons have shown no effects of energy trapping, or the Gopuramidal effect as I call it, the supremacy of the square pyramidal shape over other shapes and its gross and subtle influences on the elements present inside it including living beings has been established.

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One of the most fascinating aspects and controversial aspects of the Egyptian pyramids is in its ability to produce energy. Christopher Dunn in his book, ‘Giza power plant’ states that the original purpose of the edifice was as a sacrosanct power source which differed from the conventional purpose of establishing architectural supremacy looking at the tremendous amount of resources that went into building it, which would take the modern quarry 87 years to extract the amount of stone required. If one stone was laid every ten minutes , it would take 40 years to construct.

What he finds in the Giza pyramids is an amazing machine that once produced power using the earth itself as the source, the science of vibration and sound, and some chemistry. Here again, the shape of the pyramid was exploited to make a large acoustic device to convert the earth’s vibrational energies into microwave radiation. He demonstrates the fact that the chambers and passages in the pyramid were positioned with deliberate precision to optimize its acoustical properties. When the pyramid was vibrating in tune with the earth’s pulse it became a coupled oscillator that could carry the transfer of power from the earth with little or no feedback. The King’s Chamber, built of igneous granite containing silicon quartz crystals, served as the power center while the Queen’s Chamber was used to generate hydrogen, the fuel that ran the plant.

The pyramidal influence on the human body has often lead to occult practices such as placing  pyramids at various specified locations in one’s home which act as energy hubs, proven by Kirlian photographs, in improving the aura of the individuals . Although the actual link between the shape of the pyramids and its subtle influence on factors ranging from growth spurts in plants to alpha state in humans have been unknown, hypothetico-analysis verifies it to be so.

 Perhaps science has to bow down its head for being attached to the postulates of constant change whilst being obnoxious about the subtle forces of nature which influences the fabric of cosmos.

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