Archive for December, 2006

On the Origins of Vedic Science, Part 1

BY DR. SUBHASH C. KAK

Dec 30, BATON ROUGE, LOUISIANA (SAT) — A four-part series on the Vedic origins of science.

‘Veda’ means knowledge. Since we call our earliest period Vedic, this is suggestive of the importance of knowledge and science, as a means of acquiring that knowledge, to that period of Indian history. For quite some time scholars believed that this knowledge amounted to no more than speculations regarding the self; this is what we are still told in some schoolbook accounts. New insights in archaeology, astronomy, history of science and Vedic scholarship have shown that such a view is wrong. We now know that Vedic knowledge embraced physics, mathematics, astronomy, logic, cognition and other disciplines. We find that Vedic science is the earliest science that has come down to us. This has significant implications in our understanding of the history of ideas and the evolution of early civilizations. (more…)

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December 31, 2006 at 7:15 am 1 comment

Putrada Ekadasi (Pausha-shukla Ekadasi) from the Bhavishya Purana of Veda Vyaasadeva

Dec 31, KUALA LUMPUR (SUN) — The pious and saintly Yudhisthira Maharaj said, “Oh Lord, You have so nicely explained to us the wonderful glories of the Saphalaa Ekaadasi, which occurs during the dark fortnight (Krishna paksha) of the month of Pausha (December – January). Now please be merciful to me and explain to me the details of the Ekaadasi that occurs in the light fortnight (Shukla or Gaura paksha) of this month. What is its name, and what Deity is to be worshipped on that sacred day? Oh Purushottama, Oh Hrishikesha, please also tell me how You can be pleased on this day? (more…)

December 31, 2006 at 7:11 am 1 comment

Parishad: Srila Jiva Goswami and Sri Jagadisa Pandit

Dec 23,  KUALA LUMPUR (SAT) — Disappearance Day of Srila Jiva Goswami and Sri Jagadisa Pandit.

Srila Jiva Goswami

Srila Jiva Gosvami made his appearance in 1455, Sakabdha (1533 A.D.), on the 12th day of the bright fortnight in the month of Bhadra. He disappeared from view at the age of 85 in 1540 A.D., (Sakabdha, 3rd day of bright fortnight, Pausa).

As a child, Sri Jiva took up the worship of Sri-Sri Rama-Krsna Deities. Carefully decorating Them, and offering bhoga and arati, he served Them attentively. Even when playing, Jivas games were often connected with Lord Krsna’s pastimes.

Sri Jiva studied under the local pandits, becoming proficient in grammar, poetry and rhetoric. Watching the expression of his great intellect, his teachers predicted that he would be a very saintly person. Later in his life, he composed a grammar in Sanskrit for the pleasure of the Lord. This composition described the rules of grammar, which was explained with examples that used the holy names of the Lord. Known as Hari-namamrta-vyakarana, this grammar is still current and is prescribed in the syllabus of schools in Bengal. (more…)

December 23, 2006 at 9:52 pm Leave a comment

Purusottama Jagannath is Purusottama Narasimha

BY S.S. PANDA

Dec 20, PURI, ORISSA (WED) — The Supreme Lord of the Universe Jagannath is invariably called Purusottama, and his abode Sriksetra is known as Purastama or Purusottama Ksetra. The deep reverence to Lord Purusottama is found in the very beginning of the invocatory verses of the Sirpur Stone Inscription of the Panduvamsi queen Regent Vasata, who ruled Kosala as dowager queen in the first half of the 8th century A.D. on behalf of her minor son, Balarjuna (later on known as Mahasivagupta Balarjuna). In 1904, Henry Cousens discovered this inscription engraved on a thick red-coloured stone-block around four feet in length and two feet and a half in breadth. This inscription was edited by Hiralal. (Epigraplia Indica, Volume- XI, PP- 184-202 ff).

In the first line itself the queen paid her deep reverence to God Purusottama. (Om! Narasimha Purusottamaya //) The three verses immediately follow, narrating the greatness of the Lord in His Narasimha avatara. The translation by the late Dr. Satya Narayan Rajaguru runs like this: (more…)

December 21, 2006 at 9:05 am Leave a comment

Charity to Seek Permission for First Hindu School in the UK

Dec 20, LONDON, ENGLAND (TIMES OF INDIA) — The first state-aided Hindu School in the UK is expected to be opened in September 2008 after the application for planning permission to build the 20-million pounds institute at Harrow is made next month, its promoters said on Tuesday.

“In January, we will be applying for the planning permission and it will take a few months for the Local Council to take it up for consideration,” Nitesh Gor, Director of I-foundation, a charity organisation which is the promoter of the school, told.

He said an expert team of educationists were currently looking at various aspects including incorporating “Hindu ethics and values” in the prescribed national curriculum that will be taught at the school. (more…)

December 21, 2006 at 8:57 am Leave a comment

Parishad: Sri Locana das Thakur

 Dec 21, KUALA LUMPUR (THU) — Appearance Day of Sri Locana das Thakur.

Lochan Das Thakur was born in 1523 in Kogram, in the Katwa block of Burdwan district. This village is about ten miles north of Guskara train station. The Thakur’s home is situated near the Ajaya River.

His birth tithi is given by some as the first day of the fortnight of the waxing moon in Paush. He was born in the Rarha clan of the physician caste (vaidya). His father’s name was Kamalakar Das, his mother’s Sadanandi. Lochan Das studied at his maternal grandfather’s house. He displayed devotion for Mahaprabhu from his childhood.

Lochan Das was married at a very early age, according to the customs of that époque. Since he had been married so young, his wife first remained with her parents in the village of Amedpur Kakuta. As he grew older, Lochan showed a highly renounced attitude to life and spent all his time discussing Krishna katha with other devotees of Gauranga. As the time approached when his wife was to join him, her family began to worry because of Lochan Das’s indifference to material life. They approached his guru Narahari Sarkar and told him of their disquiet. As a result, Narahari ordered Lochan Das to go to his in-laws’ home. (more…)

December 21, 2006 at 8:47 am Leave a comment

Lord Jagannath’s Costumes

 BY BHAGABAN MOHAPATRA

Dec 17, PURI, ORISSA (SUN) — More on Lord Jagannath’s Veshas (costumes).

Orissa is glorious and boastful because of presence of Lord Jagannath at Puri. He is the Bada Thakura, the Chief among Gods, His, temple is known as Bada Deula, the Chief temple among temples and the path in front of His temple is called Bada Danda, the Chief path way. The sea washing the shore of His Khetra is called Mahodadhi, which means the great ocean. The food offered to Lord Jagannath is known as Mahaprasad. Hence His greatness cannot be narrated in words.

To add to his greatness, the deities in the temple (Lord Jagannath, Lord Balabhadra and Mother Subhadra) are adorned with ceremonial costumes on various occasions throughout the year. These ceremonial costumes are 36 in numbers out of which 20 are considered most important.

There are two Veshas, which take place outside the temple while the remaining 18 take place inside the temple on Ratna Bedi, where the deities take their seats. All these Veshas of the deities are linked with different events of His incarnations, the major Veshas relating to His incarnation as Lord Krishna. These Veshas draw the attention of countless devotees and visitors every year and the deities look so beautiful that one cannot retract his attention from the magnetic attraction of the eyes of Lord. (more…)

December 18, 2006 at 5:51 pm Leave a comment

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