Monday, 22 July 2013

Katapayadi Sankhya

गोपीभाग्यमधुव्रात-शृङ्गिशोदधिसन्धिग । 
खलजीवितखाताव गलहालारसंधर ॥

Gopibhagya madhuvrata srngisodadhisandhiga|
Khalajivitakhatava galahalarasandhara||

Oh Krishna, the fortune of the Gopis, the detoryer of the demon Madhu,
protector of cattle, the one who ventured the ocean-depths, destroyer of evildoers,
one with plough on the shoulder and the bearer of nectar, may (you) protect (us)!

The shloka above, seems to be one of the many written in praise of one of the most enigmatic and divine Lords of Hinduism, Krishna. The shloka, like many others, praises certain attributes of Krishna and requests him to protect the devotee.
So, what is so special about this shloka, that out of all the shlokas dedicated to Krishna, this particular one turned out to be the starting point of this post?

Simple enough, the shloka demonstrates one of the strongest and most intelligent examples of extreme knowledge and wisdom of our ancient men.

Grahacāraṇibandhana based in the year 683 CE and Laghubhāskariyavivarana based in the year 869 CE speak of a certain numerical notation which goes by the name of Katapayadi Sankhya.
Under this system, a number is ascribed to each and every alphabet of the script, a concept highly similar to the ASCII system in computers. The image below would better explain the relation between the alphabets and the numbers

So, based on the above method, if the letters in the shloka are replaced by the corresponding numbers, i.e. 'go' by 3, 'pi' by 1,  'bha' by 4, 'ya by 1' and so on, the following result is obtained:
The number, as obvious, is the decimal representation of pi upto 32 decimal places.
Who could have thought encrypting a mathematical concept in a devotional Shloka dedicated to Krishna?

So, what do they gain out of it by performing such extraordinary feat? The answer is two-fold.
Firstly, they used methodologies like this to check the correct usage and pronunciation of the verses, where every variation from the correct mantra or shloka would result in an incorrect rendition of the pi number(or any other system which they would have encoded)
Secondly, they used concepts like above to perform encryption and decryption so that the message would reach the intended receiver and no one would be able to catch the real meaning of the message.

Karanapaddhati: Written in the year 1733 CE by mathematician Puthumana Somayaji, the book consists of 10 chapters in total. Our  interest, however is in the 6th chapter.
In the 6th chapter, is given a shloka in Malayalam,

ssmāhatāścakra kalāvibhaktoḥ
vyāsastadarddhaṃ tribhamaurvika syāt

Not exactly Katapayadi system at play here, this is similar to encrypting formulae or constants in shlokas.
The above shloka, when translated simply means
"The circumference of a circle of diameter anūnanūnnānananunnanityai(10,000,000,000) is caṇḍāṃśucandrādhamakuṃbhipālair(31415926536), which, in turn, gives the value of pi till 10 decimal places.

Representation of dates:

palahāre pālu nallū, pularnnālo kalak kilāṃ
illā pālennu gopālan - āṃgḷamā sadinaṃ kramāl

Conceptualized in modern day India, based on Katapayadi Sankhya, the above shloka, which is in Malayalam, when translated, means that "Milk is best for breakfast, when it is morning, it should be stirred. But Gopālan says there is no milk - the number of days of English months in order"
True to its meaning, when the pairs of letters are substituted in accordance with Katapayadi system, yields
31 28 31 30 31 30 31 31 30 31 30 31

 The Vatsyayan Cipher:
Interestingly, the first written example of encryption in the entire history is found in the most unexpected source. The method, not that strong in that sense, is still used by army and security forces in a much more complex and stronger form.
As per Vatsyayan in his book Kamasutra, a girl needs to have certain attributes and learn certain arts and tricks, including how to cook, how to read and write, and how to send her lover secret messages which no one else would be able to decipher. Vatsyayan even goes on to give an example of such a cipher in the book.
The method is based on substitution cipher. Each alphabest would represent a certain another alphabet. The image below would explain the substitution cipher better:
So, the substitution cipher was invented in ancient India.

Validating the Shlokas:
Almost every major deity of Hinduism has a certain "Shata-Namavaali", or a list of 108 names dedicated to that deity. Shiva and Vishnu  have a list of 108 names dedicated to them. 
Venkateswara Ahtottara Shatanamavali is a list of 108 names dedicated to Lord Venkatesha.
Needless to say, if any of the name is forgotten by a devotee, the hymn would never be complete. 
It is always easier to remember a certain list of they are in a certain order.
For the same reason, and for validating the occurrence of all the 108 names in the order in which they are written in the text, a certain Anustup Chanda was composed, which consists of 4 shlokas, which are made up of the first letters of all the 108 names, in that order, thus validating the 108 names.

अनुष्टुप्छन्दसि चत्वारः पादाः भवन्ति प्रत्येकपादे च अष्ट अक्षराणि।श्लोके षष्ठं गुरु ज्ञेयं सर्वत्र लघु पञ्चमम्।
द्विचतुष्पादयोर्ह्रस्वं सप्तमं दीर्घमन्ययोः॥
अस्य छन्दसः षष्ठम् अक्षरं गुरु पञ्चमम् च लघु। सप्तमम् अक्षरं प्रथमे तृतीये च पादे गुरु, द्विचतुष्पदयोः सप्तमम् अक्षरं लघु भवति। सप्तमम् अक्षरं यथाक्रमम् परिवर्तते, प्रथमपादे गुरु द्वितीयपादे लघु तृतियपादे गुरु चतुष्पादे लघु।

Encryption or Miracle?
The most interesting part of this entire post, Sri-Raghava-Yadaveeyam deserves a distinct status altogether. Not exactly a work of the ancient Vedic men, this short text of 30 verses, which was compiled in the 17th century, actually deserves a separate blog post altogether. 
The name of the text itself, is quite curious. While the first part of the name of the text denotes Lord Rama, the latter, Yadava, denotes Krishna.

The 30 shlokas in the text, describe glimpses of Rama's life and works. Sample a verse from the text:

वंदेSहं देवं तं श्रीतं रन्तारं कालं भासा य:।
रामो रामाधीराप्यागो लीलामारायोध्ये वासे॥

The above text translates to
I pay my obeisance to Lord Sri Rama, who with his heart pining for Sita, travelled across the Sahyadri, returned to Ayodhya after killing Ravana, and sported with his consort, Sita, in Ayodhya for a long time.

The translation justifies the term "Sri-Raghava" in the name of the text. But, why the reference to Lord Krishna, as in the name of the text?

Now, the above text is read exactly in the reversed order:

सेवायेध्यो रामालाली गोप्याराधी मारामोरा:।
यस्साभालंकारं तारं तं श्रीतं वन्दे अहं देवं॥1

Interestingly, the above translation means:
I bow to Lord Sri Krishna, whose chest is the sporting resort of Sri Lakshmi who is fit to be contemplated through penance and sacrifice, who fondles Rukmani and his other consorts, who is worshipped by the Gopikas, and who is decked with jewels radiating splendor.

Astonishing, isnt it? The 30 shlokas when read in the order which they are composed in, describe the story of Rama, while when they are read in reverse order, describe the story of Krishna. Needless to say, the strong computational attributes of Sanskrit are at play here. And though I have been able to take up only one such Shloka here, the entire composition is an astounding work in itself. 
The text projects the strong computational, and hence encryption prowess of Sanskrit and also how smartly Sanskrit could be played with to create magnificent compositions

With that, I wish to bring an end to my post. The purpose of this post was to bring forward the same familiar concept, that not only were our ancestors religious, but all the concepts around religion and their lifestyle, overall was highly scientific and analytic in nature. Encryption was already in use and in place very smartly, the reason why most of the ancient texts is still considered unsolvable by our neo-modern intellectuals. What people claim to have invented or solved only lately, has been in place in this country since ages.

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Bidding Adieu for now.


Monday, 8 July 2013

The Temples of Ancient Wisdom

Feels great as the blog crossed 10000 views last week and in a way completed a milestone! All thanks to all of you, who read and liked the posts and the content of the blog. I am really grateful and humbled and would once again like to thank all of you.
Imaginations sometimes run wild and I tried fiction for the first time in my last post-The 14th Year. Thankfully, there were a few positive comments and people asked me for a sequel. Some of you were able to notice that it, in fact, was re-presenting the Laxman-Surpanakha story in a new Avatar.
I hope to write more on the same lines some day, but let us reserve that for later and get to the topic straight away.

Some years ago, when my father was based in Varanasi, I had the chance to visit the Kashi Vishwanath temple for the first time in my life. I was only 9 then, and had only witnessed the slightly newer and more "blazing" temples like those of Birla's and J.K.'s, which are mostly built of white marbles, and shine brightly during the evenings and nights.
For the first time I witnessed a temple built in slightly older times. The kid in me was disgusted by the water and  pieces of flowers and leaves lying all around the temple premises and me being forced to remove slippers and walk barefoot. All of a sudden I blurted out "This temple is so dirty!".  My father snapped back "You shall never call a temple dirty!". I wanted to ask why, but sensing the mood my father was in, a better sense prevailed inside me, and I decided to postpone the question in the wake of my own health benefits.. Never knew I would eventually find the answers to my questions.

The knowledge of Ancient Vedic Men was of such high degree,  the customs they popularized and inbred among the people in their daily lives was of highly scientific and logical nature. A highly scientific marvel like Aum is remodeled to be an important religious symbol, while the Gods are attributed with Vahanas akin to their individual divinities. It is but very obvious then, that the places where the Gods reside, the temples are deemed to be resplendent of similar scientific and symbolic imagery, which not only appeals to the devotee's sub-conscious, but also helps him meditate peacefully.

The Architecture-The location and The Garbhagraha:
It is a mighty known fact that most of the ancient temples were designed to be more than mere places of worship and meditation. The Vedic temples were built strategically at places where the positive cosmic energy is in abundance because of the magnetic and electric fields.

The main idol is always located in the core center of the temple, known as the Garbha-Griha. As a matter of fact, first the idol is placed at its position and then the temple is built around it. The Garbha-griha is chosen to be the place where  magnetic waves are the strongest. As a practice, some copper plates, inscribed with Vedic Shlokas are kept beneath the main idol. Copper absorbs the magnetic energy and radiates positive energy to the surroundings. This specific attribute of copper makes it useful in curing arthritis by wearing it in bracelets.

As a person revolves around the main idol in a clockwise direction, he receives the positive energy radiated from the copper, and this, gradually helps him, in meditation and maintain a good health on a regular visit. In a way, the temples were designed as "Public charging sites".

The pyramidal shape:
The particular pyramid shape of these temples serve manifold purposes. However hot or humid the entire surroundings may be, one could never feel hot inside a temple. A tall, gradually narrowing structure, along with water being poured all across the floors keeps the inside of the temple premises cool, and the magnetic fields stronger(heat reduces magnetic energy).
In the year 2005, an article was published in the Indian Journal of Traditional Knowledge. A group of scientists in Bangalore took containers of various shapes and placed various food items in it. As days passed, it was observed that the container which was pyramidal in shape demonstrated the slowest decay out of all the containers.
Various temples use flowers to further keep the atmosphere inside light and comfortable, to negate the effects of moistness. These flowers and fruits get decomposed as slowly as possible because of the pyramidal structure.

The Bells:
 As per legends, the bell sound is to ward evil forces away. A well designed bell, if struck, produces long strains of AUM.
Symbolically, the body of the bell represents time. the tongue of the bell represents Saraswati. Striking the bell would mean the message of Saraswati, which is knowledge and wisdom itself, being spread all over.
Scientifically, a temple bell is made up of a variety of metals, just in the correct proportion. When struck properly, a bell sound lasts for at least seven seconds, and touches the seven healing centers, or the Chakras   in the body. It also unites the left and the right part of the brain. As soon as one hears the bell, all pre-thoughts are emptied, or in a way, it wakes one up before entering the temple itself.
The bells also dont allow any insect to remain inside the temple. The reason, why even the oldest of temples wont have any insects or pests inside them.

Another inseparable ingredient of any Vedic temple, Dhwaja or, the Flag, serves purposes more than mere symbolisms of a number of legends. The color of the dhwaja, red or orange, symbolizes the fierce energy of the sun. As the flag flutters, thanks to its very peculiar spear shape, it symbolizes sun's life-giving glow. As the flag flutters, it also symbolizes great wisdom and bravery together.
Scientifically, the flag acts as a conductor to transfer the energy from within the Garbha Griha to the entire atmosphere, thus radiating positive energy all across. It also acts as a lightning rod which saves the temple structure from lightning.

As per legends, the pillar holding the Dhwaja, the Dhwaja-stambh represents as a connect between heavens and earth. The stambha symbolizes the Holy Trinity, Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh. The flag when seen by a devotee from a distance, informs him about the deity being worshipped within the temple and sometimes, even the rituals are symbolized by the Dhwaja.

The ingredients of worship: Lets take a step back from here, ie. the temple premises, and have a look at whats all happening inside the temple. Even under scorching sun and intense heat, the insides of the temple are still pretty cool. Water is being sprayed continuously and devotees are lighting up incense sticks, striking bells, and offering flowers to the deity. Lamps are lighted all over, which emit talismanic low light. Add to that the positive vibes which are already present all around.
All these ingredients of a 'perfect' worship create a state of trance, where from the point a devotee enters the premise, he enters into a state of trance and is almost hypnotized in the entire settings of the temple. His mind is now singularly focussed on devotion, and the body is absorbing positive energy. According to the very scientific Vedas, this is the state of trance when a man himself becomes God. Its only then,  it is said, that one could build a temple inside his heart and can meditate without even needing one temple.

I wont say that each and every older temple of India has been built keeping the same concepts and ideologies in mind as stated above, but every temple that's based on Vedic notions, follows the same architecture and model as stated by the Vedic principles
Neither did I try to comprehend nor find any logical reasoning to why certain temples allow animal sacrifice. I personally feel that's an incorrect practice and should not be encouraged in the name of religion.

Its nothing lesser than a colossal tragedy with what happened in Uttarakhand a few days back. Thousands of innocent souls lost their lives and we all must pray for their souls to rest peacefully.
However, one cannot take away the fact that only Kedarnath temple kept standing along with the central sanctum, primarily because they were based on Vedic foundations and the calamity couldn't shake it's very foundations.
Hoping that our governments take some lesson out of this tragedy and embrace the state with better disaster management facilities

People go to temples to wish for money, success, luck, and what not. But, this was not the primary reason for which these temples were built. The temples can help you attain a better health and peace of mind, and guide you towards spirituality. Sadly, modern day pundits have made temples an easy way to earn money, promising people of their wishes being fulfilled, but a temple visit would not serve such a purpose. Go there for your betterment, not to trade your time for your wish.

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Monday, 1 July 2013

The 14th Year

"You know whats the best thing about this place?",she said all of a sudden, breaking the flow of Jazz music being played in the background.
"You mean except the boring music and the inexplicable, over the top, prices?", Anuj smiled sarcastically.
"Noooooooooooo.", she said and giggled with uncontrollable girlish charm.
"Perhaps, you would care to tell me, then", said Anuj as she finished laughing.
"Hmmm, I love the lights here."
"But, its so dark in here, almost impossible to see each other's face, even when we are sitting right across each other."
"Precisely,", she murmured, and then continued,"There is no veiled emotion, you cannot cover up your feelings on the pretext of using your eyes, your smile or your facial expressions. We are sitting together and still communicate as if talking on a phone, all resplendent with our purest of emotions, instrumented only by the variations of our voice."
Anuj smiled, and sipped his drink.
"What?", she asked, her girlish charm back.
"No, tell me!"
"I am sure, the exuberant philosophy is being sponsored by the wine! Is that the reason you ordered it, instead of your regular whisky?", he asked, putting a couple of roasted peanuts in his mouth, kept in front of him.
"Wine helps me shed my reservations, my nervousness. I feel more confident."
"Hard to believe a girl like you can be nervous at all.", he said as both of them broke into a laughter. As the laughter died down, he took a sip from his glass and asked,"What are you nervous about?"
She straightened herself up, feeling a bit restless,"I wanted to ask you something."
"Hello!", he smiled,"Since when do you need permissions from me?"
"Tell me, how long do we know each other for?"
"Almost 6 months. Why?"
"And how do you find me as a person?"
"What kind of a question is that? Of course, you a great company, and a nice person to be with. I really like being with you. Why do you ask this all of  a....."
"I wanted to propose to you", she interrupted and broke into a smile,"I love you. Marry me!!"

Anuj stared at her for a few seconds, searching for words."I think you have had too much wine. Finish up your drink and we shall get out of here now. I will drop you to your home", he fumbled a bit while saying.
"That was not the answer I was expecting!", she complained feigning false anger. "I am not drunk. Answer me!", she almost commanded.
Anuj stared at his drink for a moment while holding the glass and then kept it on the table."I like you, Meenaxi. And I value you as a friend. In the last 6 months we have formed a special bond and I really cherish it. But I cant love you, leave alone marrying you."
"But if you really like me so much, then whats stopping you? I know you love me as much. Come on, look at me", she pleaded as Anuj looked at the eyes covered by darkness prevailing all over. "Tell me, whats wrong? What are you hiding from me?"
Anuj lowered his eyes as his mind wandered over something. At last, he looked back at her and said,"I am already married."

The music in the background had changed gears. With advent of darkness outside, the mood had changed to  much groovier numbers.
"You never told me!", she said, a few drops of tears had come up in her eyes."You hid this from me all along. Why did you do it? Why didnt you tell me before?"
"Because I never felt the need", replied Anuj defensively. "I would have told you had you asked me. Never once did I feel the need to bring up the topic of my marriage with Urmi."
"Not even when I told you about my marriage? About how my brother killed my husband when he sensed his greed for power? I told you every detail about myself, and you never got an opportunity to talk about your marriage?", her eyes were wet
"Because you needed emotional support that time and I didnt see any need to drop on you the details of my marriage then. Besides, what was the pointing of bringing up the topic of my marriage when are living separately since 13 years."
"13 years!! But why?", she looked at him like a small girl
"Thats a long story. All you need to know is that my father had asked my brother Raghava and his wife Bhumi to expand our retail business here, in Gurgaon. As I love my brother very much, I decided to accompany him, and asked Urmi to take care of our family."
Meenaxi brought up her glass and drank all the glimmering red liquid in one sip. She kept the glass down.
"Do you still love your wife?"
"Of course, I do! Ours was a love marriage. She is the sister of Bhumi bhabhi"
"Even after 13 years of living away from each other. Come on, had she been that important, you would have told me about her. You dont love her anymore.", she declared.
"Up to you to believe. I think I should leave now", he said gulping his drink in one go."I will see you tomorrow when you are sober." he said and stood up to leave
"Please, don't leave. I really love you, Anuj. Cant you stay back with me, here?"
"Please dont complicate things, Meenaxi.  I have a family back home, and a wife, and I cant ignore them. I very well know you have had your share of heart breaks. Give it some time, you will find a better man."

“You are the one I want to be with.”, she said in a dreamy voice and reached out for his hands, caressing his fingers.
Anuj snatched his hands out of her grasp, "Meenaxi, I think you are totally out of your mind today. Lets leave now."
Meenaxi stood up and came close to Anuj,"Why, dont you think I am beautiful? I love you, I want you."
Anuj moved to his side as Meenaxi blocked his way. He caught her shoulder and pushed her slightly and tried to move, as she embraced him from behind.
"Please dont leave me Anuj.", she pleaded as she tightened her embrace.
"Meenaxi, let me go", he said in a stern voice as he tried freeing himself up "You are drunk like hell. Move away from me", he clutched her wrist and forced her away from him.
She pounced herself on him and started kissing him.
"Move away, Meenaxi. Just back off!!", he said and pushed her hard to the side. She lost her balance as her high heels slipped, and she fell on the glass table full on her face. The glass broke under her face, as it reached beyond the hollow of the table.
She stood up and turned only to watch Anuj walking hastily towards the exit, with all the waiters staring at her in horror.
"Anuj!", she shouted,"Dont you dare leave me like that! My brother wont tolerate my insult.", she said as
she felt some wetness dripping from her face. She rushed towards the bathroom. As she reached for the wash basin, she looked up and saw a deep scar running across her nose, with pieces of glass still stuck to the part, blood dripping all over. She cried frantically, further increasing the pain. She clinched her teeth and stared hard at her face in the mirror.
 "You will regret this Anuj Suryavanshi! I promise you that! You will pay heavily for this!!", she said and broke into another blot of insane crying.