Category: Philosophers of India

Philosopher India – A step towards Myth discovery

Mahatma Gandhi

Mahatma Gandhi

Mahatma Gandhi was the primary leader of India’s independence movement and also the architect of a form of civil disobedience that would influence the world. Indian nationalist leader Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, more commonly known as Mahatma Gandhi, was born on October 2, 1869, in Porbandar, Kathiawar, India. He studied law in London, England, but in 1893 went to South Africa, where he spent 20 years opposing discriminatory legislation against Indians. As a pioneer of Satyagraha, or resistance through mass non-violent civil disobedience, he became one of the major political and spiritual leaders of his time. Satyagraha remains one of the most potent philosophies in freedom struggles throughout the world today. He was killed by a fanatic in 1948. Gandhi later recorded the early years of his life in his extraordinary autobiography, The Story of My Experiments with Truth.

Swami Vivekananda

Swami Vivekananda

Vivekananda was born Narendranath Datta at his ancestral home at  Gourmohan Mukherjee Street in Calcutta, the capital of British India, on 12 January 1863 during the Makar Sankranti festival. He belonged to a traditional Bengali Kayastha family and was one of nine siblings.His father, Vishwanath Datta, was an attorney at the Calcutta High Court. The precocious boy, Narendra mastered music, gymnastics and studies. By the time he completed his graduation from Calcutta University, he had acquired a vast knowledge of different subjects, especially Western philosophy and history. He had a yogic temperament and used to practice meditation even from his boyhood, and was also involved in ‘Brahmo Movement’ for time being. During his travels across India, Swami Vivekanand was deeply touched by the terrible poverty and backwardness of the people. He was the first religious leader in India to understand and openly declare that the real cause of India’s ruin was the neglect of the masses. In early 1898, Swami Vivekanand acquired a big plot of land on the western bank of the Ganga, at a place known as Belur, to build a monastery as a permanent habitat for the monks, open to all men without any discrimination of religion, race or caste. He got it registered as ‘Ramakrishna Math’ after two years. Here, Swamiji recognized a new, universal pattern of monastic life which adapts ancient monastic ideals to the conditions of modern life, giving equal importance to personal enlightenment and social service.

The Mahabharata

In the Mahabharata, a Hindu epic text, the Pandava (also Pandawa) are the five acknowledged sons of Pandu, by his two wives Kunti and Madri. Their names are Yudhisthira, Bhima, Arjuna, Nakula and Sahadeva. All five brothers were married to the same woman, Draupadi. (Each brother also had multiple other wives.)

Together, the brothers fought and prevailed in a great war against their cousins the Kauravas, which came to be known as the Battle of Kurukshetra.

Bhasma – Vedic chemistry

Mahakumbh

Bhasma in Ayurveda has been defined as a substance obtained by calcination.

Bhasma is a calcined preparation in which the gem or metal is converted into ash. Gems or metals are purified to remove impurities and treated by triturating and macerating in herbal extracts. The dough so obtained is calcinated to obtain the ashes.Ayurveda is the science made up of Veda (knowledge) and Ayush (life). An Ayurvedic system adopts a holistic approach towards health care by balancing the physical, mental and spiritual functions of the human body. RasaShastra (vedic-chemistry) is one of the parts of Ayurveda, which deals with herbo-mineral/metals/non-metals preparations called Bhasmas.

Mahakumbh

Rasayana (immunomodulation and anti-aging quality) and yogavahi (ability to target drugs to the site) are characteristics of a properly made herbo-mineral/metals/non-metals preparation, which is also nontoxic, gently absorbable, adaptable and digestible in the bodyBhasma or vibhooti is the sacred ash from the dhuni or fire of a yogi or avadhoota, or from the sacrificial fire or yajna, where special wood, ghee, herbs, grains and other auspicious and purifying items are offered in worship along with mantras. It is believed that bhasma destroys sins (paap), and that it links us with the divine. It is called ‘bhasma’ because it has the power to consume all evils. Any matter, broken up through the process of fire is reduced to its ‘bhasmic’ form, which is infinitely more refined and pure than the original matter, devoid as it is of all impurities niranjan. The grossness of matter obscures the subtle essence inherent within it, just as wood hides fire and milk conceals butter and cheese, but when it is burnt (or churned in the case of milk) only the pure essence remains. Similarly, the great heat of tapasya and the churning of the mind in meditation reveals the underlying subtle spirit or atman.

River Ganga – India’s National River

Gomukh

Ganga

Shiva-Rishikesh

The origin of river Ganges lies at the height of 13,800 feet in the mountain ranges of Himalayas, in Tehri Garhwal, near Gangotri. It begins high in the Himalayas as a pair of head streams. It begins in an ice cave in the mountains about 10,300 feet above sea level. Gangotri is known as the place of origin of the revered Ganges river, known as Ganga in India it is also consider one of the holy place in chota char dham . The holiest of the Indian rivers, is the longest river in India and the greatest waterway in India. The river has been declared as India’s National River. Ganges is the source of sustainment of life in the great Indian plains and it is at Gangotri that the journey of Ganga begins. River Ganges gets water from the melting snow of Nanda devi, Gurla, Mandhata, Dhaulagiri, Gesaisthan, Kanchenjunga and Mount Everest. Many small and big rivers merge with the Ganges in the Himalayan region. The Ganges river flows through Bangladesh, but the greater part of it flows through India. The river flows across the northern corner of India. The Ganges flows across India and Bangladesh until it empties out into the Bay of Bengal. The great river provides water to many places, and many places rely on it.

There are many versions of stories regarding the origin of Ganges. In another story the sage Valmiki of Ramayana, Ganges was the daughter of ‘Himalaya’ and ‘Maina’. The deities abducted her and took her to heaven and from then onwards, ‘Ganga’ started living inside the ‘Karmandala’ (a spout shaped vessel). According to Kritivas Ramayana the deities had taken ‘Ganga’ to Lord Shiva to get her married with him. When ‘Maina’ did not find her in the house, she cursed to attain the form of water.