Maharshi Vyasa was one of the principal builders of Hindu(Vedic) knowledge system, culture and religion. He was born in a dvipa or island. He was of dark complexion(Krishna). Hence he was called Krishna Dvaipayana. Later, when he systematized the Veda which was in a single body into four parts,( according to the use to which the mantras are applied), he was called Veda Vyasa- the one who classified or divided the Veda. The Veda constitutes total knowledge available to man.
Vyasa is considered as Vishnu Avatara- Vyasaaya Vishnu ruupaaya. It is said that all the knowledge in the world has been wetted by Vyasa’s mouth- Vyaasochhistam Jagat sarvam. He is the GURU par excellence. Read More
The achievements of this great Indian scientist of the fifth century A.D. are hardly known or publicised in the western world. He was the first astronomer to state emphatically that the earth is round and it rotates on its axis.
He is the father of the epicyclic astronomy, for it was he who first detailed the scientific causes of eclipses. He was the first mathematician to work out the value of Pi.
He delineated sine tables and suggested a method to solve indeterminate equations of the first degree.
Achievements : Aryabhatta’a achievements in algebraic analysis and spherical geometry are also remarkable. His most important contribution to mathematics is his solution of the indeterminate equation ax – by = c.
This short-lived mathematician was born in 476 A.D. at Kusumapura (present day Patna) in Bihar, India. At the age of 23 he wrote his most famous work, Aryabhattiyam, in which, among other things, he has dealt with methods of determining square and cube roots and problems involving quadratic equations.
Several disciples flocked to Aryabhatta, who later became famous mathematicians themselves, like Bhaskara, Sankaranarayana, Suryadeva and Nilkantha.
Aryabhatta spoke of his work in these words: ”I delved deep in the astronomical theories, true and false, and rescued the precious sunken jewel of knowledge, by means of the best of my intellect and by the grace of God.” How humble the great mathematician was!
This is an extract from the book The Great Ones by V.K.Subramanian, Abhinav Publications, New Delhi . Read More on Aryabhatta
PUJYA ADI SHANKARACHARYA
When the Vaidic mode of communion with the ultimate was in jeopardy, with the rejuvenation and reassertion of its wisdom being a pressing need, Adi Shankara strode like a majestic lion across the country taking all other lions in his stride and converted even die hards making them opt for the path illumined by Upanishads, such a powerful leader was needed at that time when Hinduism had been almost smothered within an enticing entanglements of atheistic views and consequently the Hindu Society came to be disunited and broken up into numberless sects and denominations each championing a different new point and engaged in mutual quarrels and endless argumentations.
It was into such a chaotic intellectual atmosphere that Sri Shankara brought his life giving philosophy of non-dual Brahaman of the Upanishads. It can very well be understood what a colossal work it must have been for any one man to undertake in those days, when modern conveniences of mechanical transport and instruments of propaganda were unknown.
In His missionary work of propagating the great philosophical truths of the Upanishads and rediscovering through them the true cultural basis of our nation, Acharya Shankara had a variety of efficient weapons in his resourceful armory. An exquisite thinker, a brilliant intellect, a personality scintillating super think tank with the vision of Truth, a heart throbbing with industrious faith and ardent desire to serve the nation, sweetly emotional and relentlessly logical, Adi Shankara was the fittest Spiritual General to champion the cause of Upanishads. It was indeed a vast program that Shankara accomplished within the short span of 20 effective years for at the age of 32 he had finished his work and had folded up his manifestation. From masculine prose to feminine soft songs, from marching militant verses to dancing songful words, be in the halls of Upanishadic commentaries or in the temple of Brahmasutra expositions, in the theatre of his Bhagavad Gita discourses or in the open flowery fields of his devotional songs, His was a pen that danced to the rhythm of His heart and to the swing of His thoughts. But pen alone would not have won the war of culture for our country. He showed himself to be a great organizer, a far sighted diplomat courageous hero and a tireless servant of the country.
Before the advent of Sri Shankara numerous ritualistic cults engendered unclear practices which cried for reform. Sri Shankara completed this task. He gave them a new, purer and purposeful outlook. Working through its own tradition, each system or cult was helped to discipline mind conduct and practices, to be able to progress with the higher forum of truth. The evils were cleansed in the practice of rituals and a place was assigned to each cult in what may be described as a `federation of faithsâ€™ with the prospect of leading its rotary to the understanding of Upanishadic ideal. Refinement of religious beliefs and practices leads to refinement of character and social respectability.http://www.sringeri.net/history/sri-adi-shankaracharya
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Rabindranath Tagore once said, ” If you want to understand India. Read Swami Vivekananda. During his travels all over India, Swami Vivekananda was deeply moved to see the appalling poverty and backwardness of the masses. He was the first religious leader in India to understand and openly declare that the real cause of India’s downfall was the neglect of the masses. The immediate need was to provide food and other bare necessities of life to the hungry millions. For this they should be taught improved methods of agriculture, village industries, etc. It was in this context that Vivekananda grasped the crux of the problem of poverty in India (which had escaped the attention of social reformers of his days): owing to centuries of oppression, the downtrodden masses had lost faith in their capacity to improve their lot. It was first of all necessary to infuse into their minds faith in themselves. Read a short Biographical sketch
PUJYA MADHAV SADASHIV GOLWALKAR
Sri Madhav Sadashiv Golwalkar also known as Guruji Golwalkar was the 2nd Sarsanghachalak of the RSS. He was a Rishi, a seer who devoted his life to the cause of consolidation of the Hindu society. Under hismargadarshan, the RSS expanded its work into consolidating various frontiers. His guru, Swami Akhandananda was a Guru Bhai of Swami Vivekananda. After giving him deeksha Swami Akhandananda, informed that he was destined to work with Dr.Hedgewar and his real work lies there. Guruji Golwalkar’s contribution in bringing the all the religious leaders including Shankaracharyas and other Peethadhipatis together was immense. Their declaration that no Hindu could be considered untouchable or fallen was a land-mark in modern Hindu history.
At the same time, Guruji created awareness in the political establishment regarding the threats to the country. In 1951, Shri Guruji expressed his views in newspapers thus, “China is expansionist by nature and is very likely to attack Bharat soon.” The point of reference was that of the military activities of China in Tibet. The government did not heed to him. Later in November 1962, China openly attacked Bharat along the borders in Arunachal Pradesh and occupied 64,000 sq. km of our land along the borders. Guruji’s role in creating a sense of confidence among the Hindus is immeasurable. He toured the country 66 times during his 33 years as head of the RSS. Read More About this Adhunik Rishi
ACHARYA PRAFULLA CHANDRA RAY
Acharya Prafulla Chandra Ray was born in the village of Raruli in the District of Jessore (now Khulna) in the then undivided Bengal (now Bangladesh) on August 2, 1861. Compilation of the ˜History of Hindu Chemistry is the greatest contribution of Dr. P. C. Ray. His inherent interest in history actually led him to proceed in this direction. He was studying the history of Chemistry out of his own interest. He knew that the KAVIRAJAs(Ayurvedic doctors) in this country had been using metal-based medicines for a long time. He got this information from Hindu Materia Medica by Uday Chand Datta. He thought that the preparation of these medicines must involve chemical processing. So, being curious, he consulted several original references in Sanskrit listed in the above book. As he was well versed in Sanskrit language, he faced no difficulty at all in retrieving the Alchemy- related information of ancient India from the above book. Later, in the Presidency College Library, he also came across the book entitled ‘Alchemistes Grecs’ compiled by the famous French Chemist Berthelot. From this book, he could not find any mention about the Indian Chemistry that was practiced even much before Greek did. He immediately wrote a letter to Berthelot telling that probably he (Berthelot) did not know about the Alchemy that was practiced in ancient India. In reply, Berthelot wrote that he would remain grateful after knowing all the information about the History of Indian Chemistry. This reply from Berthelot energized and inspired Dr. Ray. He then wrote a short essay incorporating the information on Indian alchemy mainly based on ˜RASENDRA-SAR-SAMGRAHA (written in Sanskrit) and sent that to Berthelot. Read More
ACHARYA Sir Dr.JAGADISH CHANDRA BOSE
Suppose there is a lush green plant and its leaves are a sparkling green in the shining sunlight. We feel like pulling out a leaf to feel it. But we do not think of what goes on inside the plant. May be, we feel that the plant does not suffer like us. But the plant does suffer. In fact the pulsation of the plant stops where the leaf was plucked. In a short time the pulsation again begins at the spot, but this time very slowly. And then it completely stops. That spot is as good as dead for the plant. It was Jagadishchandra Bose, an eminent Indian scientist, who explained that plants also suffer pain like us. Though he worked in other fields of science, he is best known for his research into the life of plants. Though our Rishis proclaimed thousands of years back that there is life in plants as well, the West scoffed at that idea. It took the genius of Dr.J.C.Bose who believed in our scriptures and was trained in modern science to demonstrate and prove to the world there was indeed “chaitanya” in not only human beings, plants but also in metals. Read More
Painting by Shabnam Gill
For a few decades now, we have been hearing propaganda that Rabindranath Tagore had written the Jana Gana Mana, the national anthem, in glory of King George V. This is baseless. I think this propaganda owes its genesis due to the fact that Jana Gana Mana was pushed as the national anthem over Vandemataram (VM) by Pt.Nehru.
Tagore’s love for Maa Bharati and Vandemataram is unquestionable. Anyone who has read the history of the Vandemataram movement would know that it was he who actually took great pains to popularize the Vandemataram (VM) song. In fact VM sung in its most popular raga is by Tagore.
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Have you forgotten Acharya Chanakya?