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A presentation on the future of past Thursday, Dec 13 2007
History Demystified – An Introduction Sunday, Nov 25 2007
World’s Oldest Democracy Thursday, Aug 9 2007
Mokshapath – Snake and Ladder Thursday, May 31 2007
aatma and ancient and british and game and gurudev and hitxp and India and indian and kannada and ladder and moksha and Mokshapat and Mokshapath and nirvana and paramapath and paramatma and rebirth and salvation and snakes and soul 7:30 pm
Snake and Ladder is an ancient Indian game which was brought to west by the British in 1892. It was called Mokshapath meaning Path to Salvation. In sanskrit Moksh=Salvation and Path=Path !!
Let us understand its basics.
The vedic (hindu) belief about life and death is of rebirth. One life form might be reborn as any form of life after its death. A human in this birth might be reborn as an insect in his next birth. A frog in this birth might be reborn as a human in its next birth!
This cycle of life and death and rebirth continues, which is why the vedas say that ‘soul never dies’! Depending on how well a soul spends its life doing good things, it can be freed from this cycle of life, death and rebirth and attain Moksha (Probably enter heaven and live happily ever after!).
So the aim of life is to attain this Moksha or Nirvana! Vedas say that it is extremely lucky to be born as a human and that one should not miss this opportunity to get the most out of it. One has to use this to get Moksha where a normal soul (Aatma) gets united with the Universal soul (Paramaatma) and is freed from the cycle of birth and death! There are stories in vedas where even other life forms like animals attained Moksha by their good deeds! So its not limited to humans alone!
Well, these things interest me from a point of enquiry as to what we really are? Where did we come from? What is all that is going on here
In kannada there is a poem which says
‘Allide Nammane Illi bande Summane’
which means ‘My house is out there, I came here just for some time pass’
Well, another kannada poem says
‘Niddegomme Nitya Marana Edda Sala Naveena Janana’
which means, ‘A daily death every night we sleep, a new birth every morning we get up’! What a wonderful thought!
Coming back to the original topic of Snake and Ladder, this game originated in ancient India and was called ‘Mokshapath’ which means the path of salvation. The ultimate goal of the game was to achieve salvation by reaching the top. Every time a person does a bad deed, he ends up at the snake’s mouth and is demoted in the game of attaining salvation.
Every time a person does a good deed, he ends up at the ladder’s bottom and is promoted upwards in the game of attaining salvation.! The aim of this game was to teach children the basic tenets of hindiusm that lies in the vedas. Good deeds we move up in life. Bad deeds and we move down in life. The ladders represented virtues and snakes vices.
The game was drawn out on a cloth divided into blocks called houses, each representing emotions. For ex: the snake at hinsa (violence) would take one down to mahanarak (great hell) while ladder at Vidyabhyas (education) would take one up to the Shastras (knowledge). The game was played with dices and cowrie-shells.
In the original game, these were the squares where ladder was found to move upwards.
- 12 was faith
- 51 was Reliability
- 57 was Generosity
- 76 was Knowledge
- 78 was Asceticism.
Snakes were found at the following squares.
- 41 was for Disobedience
- 44 for Arrogance
- 49 for Vulgarity
- 52 for Theft
- 58 for Lying
- 62 for Drunkenness
- 69 for Debt
- 73 for Murder
- 84 for Anger
- 92 for Greed
- 95 for Pride
- 99 for Lust
1oo was the square of Moksha or Nirvana! The ultimate goal of the game. You win when you reach the 100th square!
The british took this game to England from India in 1892 and called it “snakes and ladders” (which I feel is a rather very uninteresting name, compared to Mokshapath – Path of Nirvana )
Quotes about India Thursday, May 31 2007
“We owe a lot to the Indians, who taught us how to count, without which no worthwhile scientific discovery could have been made.”- Albert Einstein
“India is the cradle of the human race, the birthplace of human speech, the mother of history, the grandmother of legend and the great grand mother of tradition.” – American Writer and Humorist Mark Twain
“If there is one place on the face of earth where all dreams of living men have found a home from the very earliest days when man began the dream of existence, it is India.” – French scholar Romain Rolland
“India conquered and dominated China culturally for 20 centuries without ever having to send a single soldier across her border.” – Hu Shih (Former Chinese ambassador to USA, referring to the entry of Buddhism into China. Buddhism was born in ancient India).
So far as I am able to judge, nothing has been left undone, either by man or nature, to make India the most extraordinary country that the sun visits on his rounds. Nothing seems to have been forgotten, nothing overlooked.”- Mark Twain
“In India I found a race of mortals living upon the Earth. but not adhering to it. Inhabiting cities, but not being fixed to them, possessing everything but possessed by nothing.”- Apollonius Tyanaeus, Greek Thinker and Traveller 1st Century AD
“Bear in mind that the commerce of India is the commerce of the world and … he who can exclusively command it is the dictator of Europe.”- Peter the Great of Russia
“Many of the advances in the sciences that we consider today to have been made in Europe were in fact made in India centuries ago.” – Grant Duff, British Historian
“India was the motherland of our race and Sanskrit the mother of Europe’s languages. India was the mother of our philosophy, of much of our mathematics, of the ideals embodied in Christianity… of self-government and democracy. In many ways, Mother India is the mother of us all” – Will Durant, American Historian
“If I am asked which nation had been advanced in the ancient world in respect of education and culture then I would say it was – India” – Max Muller, German Indologist
“In religion, India is the only millionaire …. The One land that all men desire to see and having seen once, by even a glimpse, would not give that glimpse for all the shows of all the rest of the globe combined” – Mark Twain
“Indian cities are prosperous and stretch far and wide. There are many guest houses for travellers. There are hospitals providing free medical service for the poor. The viharas and temples are majestic. People are free to choose their occupations. There are no restrictions on the movement of the people. Government officials and soldiers are paid their salaries regularly. People are not addicted to drinks. They shun violence. The administration provided by the Gupta rulers is fair and just” – Chinese traveller Fa-Hien during the reign of Chandragupta II
“Indians have in general superior endowments in reading, writing and arithmetic than the common people of any nation in Europe.” – Warren Hastings
“It is very important to note that some 2,500 years ago at the least Pythagoras went from Samos to the Ganges to learn geometry…But he would certainly not have undertaken such a strange journey had the reputation of the Brahmins’ science not been long established in Europe…” -Francois Marie Arouet Voltaire, French Philosopher/Writer
Myth about British creating India Wednesday, May 9 2007
I am fed up repeatedly hearing the totally illogical, stupid argument some people put forward saying ‘It was the british who created a united India, and before the british came, there was no concept of India at all!”
Forget uniting, the British actually divided India into three pieces before they left in 1947!
Let’s start with the very basics of History.
In 1492 Columbus set out to discover a sea route to which place? India, right? And when was this? more than 100 years before British even entered India. It was not any particular kingdom of India that Columbus was targetting. It was INDIA ITSELF! That is the reason, when he mistook America to be India, he called the natives of America as ‘Red Indians’.
Entire europe was trading for silk, gold, spices, diamonds and what not with India via the land route of Constantinople till 1453. In 1453 muslims captured Constantinople and blocked the trade route to India. Europeans were so dependant on India for the trade that they set out to discover an alternate sea route to India. That was how all the sailors like Columbus, Bartholomew Diaz, Vasco da gama all started their voyages in search of a sea route to India.
The europeans then were so backward in science that they refused funding to Columbus because entire europe at that time was of the view that Earth was flat!! So they thought columbus would fall down the earth if he took the reverse sea route to find India! More than a 1000 years before Columbus, Aryabhatta in India had already proved what thousands of years old vedas had said, that Earth is Round not flat.
Note that it was the not the Indians who became desperate to discover a sea route to Europe. It was the other way round
The poilitical picture in pre-british India was that parts of India were ruled by different Kings called the Maharaja, and would report to the strongest of all who would be the ruler of entire Indian subcontinent and was called the Chakravarti. Chakravarti means the turner of the wheel, implying history repeats itself!
Any Maharaja (who ruled a part of India) can become a Chakravarti (ruler of entire India) if all other Maharajas bow down to his power. Maharajas who ruled under a Chakravarti were called Samanta Rajas. Samanta Rajas would pay annual tax to the Chakravarti.
Some of the Chakravartis who ruled entire India (which included present India, Pakistan and Bangladesh) were Ashoka, Ikshvaku, Shibi, Bindusara, Adinath, Shanthinath, Bharatha (After whom India was named as Bharat), etc
So it was not the british who united India for the first time.
The ancient Mauryan Empire of India spread even beyond Baluchistan in present Pakistan and Kandhahar in present Afghanistan !
British did not create India, India existed long before they arrived. Nor did they unite India for the first time, many chakravartis ruled united India much before them. British only divided India into India, Pakistan and Bangladesh before they left India. Of course some greedy Indian politicians from Congress like Nehru were also responsible for India’s partition. If Nehru had agreed to make Jinna the prime minister of India, there would have been no partition. Just two months before partition of India, Gandhi had said that ‘India will be partitioned only over my dead body’!
Scientific Verification of Vedic Knowledge in Hinduism Monday, Apr 30 2007
ancient and bhagavadgita and british and einstein and gurudev and hitxp and India and language and macauley and mahabharatha and mathematics and max uller and mysteries and mystery and nuclear and pakistan and Politics and sanskrit and Science and vedas and vedic and video and zero 5:31 pm
The british who ruled India wanted Indians to feel that everything west, english and european to be superior, and anything that had to do with Indian culture and history as inferior, unscientific and stupid.
Macauley introduced the english education system in India which enforced these thoughts about western superiority and Indian inferiority in the minds of the Indian children.
Max muller propagated the myth of Aryan invasion theory in an aim to divide north and south India on the lines of Aryan – Dravidian basis saying Aryans invaded India from europe at around 1500 BC and pushed down the local draividians down south. Modern archaeology says nothing is more stupid, racist and biased than this nonsensical theory whose sole aim was a politically motivated intention. Max muller also wrote off vedas as ‘waste stuff’ only to be commented later by world’s reknown indologists as ‘this only shows the nursery school knowledge muller had about sanskrit’
The archelogical excavations of Harappa, Mohen Jo Daro, the discovery of the city of Dwaraka in the seas of Gujarat, the satellite imagery and geological evidences about tectonic plate shifting of the sub continent supporting the existence of Saraswati river mentioned in the vedas, the Kausambi and Hastinapur flooding excavations, all have proved beyond doubt that there has been no invasion from outside in 1500 BC by aryans.
Instead aryans were an indegenious race inherent to India for the very simple fact that all above mentioned evidences date back existence of aryans in India to even before 3500 BC AND not a single evidence of aryan existence or literature has been found outside the Indian subcontinent AND all locations, rivers, cities, kingdoms etc mentioned in the vedic scriptures have been mapped inside India – the India mentioned in vedas include current India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Burma.
So what’s more about the vedas?
Vedas are the greatest scientific text ever written.
Vedic mathematics is the best form of mathematics taught all over the world today to speed up calculations.
Einstein said, if not for Indians who invented ZERO and place value system, the science and technological achievements of the world would have been ZERO!
Infact, the other day when a friend commented on my wearing a tommy hilfiger jacket, saying the jacket’s creator had said that ‘It was meant only for the whites’, my reply was ‘Well, then what if I say that the Zero invented by ancient Indians was meant only to be used by Indians?’ Forget other implications of this, I dont think anybody in the west today can even use computers, which are binary in nature – based on Zero and One.
Sanskrit is the only language spoken by humans which can be easily used as a computer programming language.
Ayurveda is the world’s oldest medicinal system and has absolutely no side effects on the body, unlike western medicines AND unlike the western medicines like sedatives, pain killers and what not, Ayurveda doesn’t hide the pain or symptoms, it doesnt treat the outcome of an illness, but instead hits right at the source of the illness. It prepares your body to be strong enough to counter health issues than to make it dependendant for the rest of its life on external medicines.
Yoga are the exercises which unlike the western gyms, are not aimed at making only your biceps and other external organs strong, but instead concentrate on building a body inside out along with maintaining a mental fitness too. Sweating out is not physical fitness buddies, people in rural India sweat n number of times more than those who work out in the gyms, for gyms you need to have extra time for that, whereas in rural India sweating is a result of people’s normal day today activities !!
Bhagavadgeetha is the greatest ever work on human psychology. World’s greatest scientists, philosophers, writers, politicians, have been daily readers of this great work to keep them mentally fit and to face the world’s challenges.
Oppenheimer, father of modern atomic bomb suspected that Mahabharatha war was a nuclear war based on the accurate descriptions of nuclear weapons and its effects found in Bhagavadgeeta. I think that the other reason Mahabharatha war has to be considered a nuclear war is that, it is said in Mahabharatha that in a time span of less than a month 14 billion people were killed!! For those who are not aware how big a number this is, the current world population is just above 6 billion! I cant think of anything other than nuclear weapons that could kill so many people in so little time.
Below is a list of must-watch documentaries on the ‘Scientific Verification of Vedic Knowledge in Hinduism’