November 23, 2016 · Kanchipuram ·
Collection from various sources——-
A horoscope is a map of destiny. The secrets that it contains can be revealed only by a Vedic Astrologer.
“What is Vedic Astrology?”
Most people know what their Sun sign is in Western Astrology, but very few know about Vedic Astrology. Even people who have only the slightest smattering of knowledge about astrology want to know what is Vedic Astrology and what is Western Astrology.
We may now see these:—
Vedic versus Western Astrology
The Vedas are the oldest scriptures well over 5,000 years old. The vast ocean of Vedic knowledge encompasses both material and spiritual knowledge; it is perfect knowledge that was revealed by Sri Krishna (The 9th Avathar of Sriman Narayanan) to the Rishis, the sages of Vedic culture. Astrology is part of the Vedic literature, and has been preserved and handed down in the guru-parampara system, the chain of apostolic succession, since time immemorial. Vedic Astrology is the original form of astrology that existed thousands of years ago in ” Bharathak Kandam”, what is now known as the Indian subcontinent. It gradually spread by diffusion into other cultures such as the Babylonian, Persian, Greek, Chinese, etc. The major differences between Vedic Astrology and modern Western Astrology are threefold:
I. Vedic Astrology is technically termed a “sidereal system” (examining by research the movement of sky-stars ) whereas Western Astrology is “tropical.”(based on SUN movement)
What this essentially means is that up in the sky there are stars which make up the various constellations of the Zodiac such as Virgo, Aquarius, etc.
Vedic Astrology is based upon the actual stellar constellations (sidereal), whereas Western Astrology is based on a fictitious zodiac that slowly moves backwards in space as a function of time (“tropic” in Latin means “to turn”). These definitions can be found in any good dictionary. The beginning of the Western imaginary zodiac–their first point of Aries–is at 6.25 degrees of the constellation Pisces. This is called the Age of Pisces in Western Astrology. This first point will move in a retrograde (backward) motion at a rate of about 1 degree per 72 years until it enters into the constellation of Aquarius. That will be the beginning of the famous Age of Aquarius that we have all heard about. At the rate of motion of 72 years/degree ´ 6.25 degrees, it will take 450 years before the so-called Age of Aquarius takes place. Out of ignorance of astronomy, the New Age community has “jumped the gun” by almost half a millennia in declaring that we are already in the Age of Aquarius.
II. Vedic Astrology is based on a very old, unbroken tradition since time immemorial whereas Western Astrology has had a very checkered history. Astrology virtually disappeared in the West during the Dark Ages ( 500-1000AD); it resurfaced during the Renaissance, only to fall out of favour during the so-called Age of Reason. In fact, it totally disappeared from the European continent until the late 19th century. It had been kept barely alive in England during that time. Western Astrology as we know it today has existed for about 130 years only when it began a resurgence. The point is that the Vedic tradition is very strong and vibrant, with the heritage of many millennia of accumulated knowledge, whereas Western Astrology does not have the advantage of an unbroken tradition.
III. Vedic astrology, being an annex to the Vedas, is thoroughly steeped in Vedic thought and philosophy. This means that the practitioner of the science must have earnestly assimilated the Vedic philosophy and lived the life of a Vedic Brahmana, with all its attendant spiritual practices. By contrast, modern Western astrology is a reflection of permissive Western culture, in which “anything goes.” Western astrology has no real or consistent philosophical basis; what passes for a basis is watered down, distorted, third-hand Vedic philosophy. The Western Astrologer has (in comparison to the Vedic Astrologer) no philosophical training, nor does he know what it means to follow a spiritual discipline. The combined effect of genuine philosophical knowledge coupled with an authentic spiritual lifestyle cannot be overestimated when it comes to developing the divine vision and ability that is so necessary for enabling an astrologer to properly guide others.
This briefing will give you an inkling of the differences. These are not just technical differences but depend on an entirely different worldview. Now that we have completed our digression, let’s return to the main objective of this treatise. The birth-map, or horoscope, is a symbolic representation of the Earth, planets, and stars at the correct time of one’s birth. It is a divine language, a mystic cryptogram by which God has communicated what a person’s destiny will be, knowing which a wise person will exercise his free will to optimize the result.
Fate, and Vedic Astrology
The viewpoint of Vedic Astrology is that life is an interplay of both fate and free will–fate being the reaction to our previous exercise of free will. In our lives we are often faced with choices presented to us by our environmental circumstances. We have the freedom to chose “a” or “b,” but once that decision is made we must accept the reaction to our choice. The reaction may be immediate, or it may be delayed by thousands of lifetimes. In any case, the reaction, pleasant or unpleasant, will come at the appointed time determined by Bhagvan.
Chanakya says, “Just as a calf can find its mother in a herd of 10,000 cows, in the same way your [re]actions will find you.” The reactions to life’s actions are inescapable by everyone except those who are completely devoted to Bhagvan (via Bhakti-yoga). When a karmic reaction ripens and fructifies it creates a new situation, a new environment that presents us with more choices upon which to exercise our free will. Thus, life is an interplay of both fate and free will as previously stated.
We can see this by an example of how this works.
Suppose someone is born into a poor family because of his bad karma from a previous lifetime and so is raised in a ghetto beset with crime and poverty.
He will have two choices.
He can blame society for the evils he faces and thus try to victimize society by taking to a life of crime to acquire wealth;
or he can take responsibility for his situation and try to better himself by reading scriptures, by getting upadesams from acharyals and honest endeavor.
Suppose if he chooses the first option of crime and robs several establishments, eventually he will get caught (if not killed first) and sent to jail, a natural reaction for his criminal behavior. But even while in jail he still has options, though more limited than those of a free man. He can choose to be a hardened criminal or to be a model prisoner and reform himself. Each of his action will have a reaction. Thus we can see that life is an intricate interplay of fate (karma) and free will and vedic astrology speaks volumes and volumes of these .
So, do not criticise Astrology–vedic astrology—-try to learn it from the pundits—- try to live according to dictums of Sastras—
meditate the lotus feet of Bhagvan —-you will have no re-birth
The horoscope of Baghvan Sri Rama
Uruppattur Soundararajan says—
I have written about 4 vedas with 7 annexes detailing parts in each veda, number of sakhas , manthra part, brahmana part, smruthi, ithihasa purana, upa -angaas in vedas prathisaakhyam etc etc and this is available in the website www.sadagopan.org
rug veda—-10647 rugs ( version is that 10552 rugs are there)
2024 varghas—-1017-sookthas—85 anuvagas–64 adyaya–10 mandala–3 agnis
krishna yajur veda—101 sakhas —-32 upanishads
sukla yajur—15 sakhas—-17 upanishads
sama veda—poorvachritham—6 parts
uththaraachchitham—9 parts 446–dasathis —1000 sakhas–5 bankthis–
atharvana veda—-5987 manthras—31 upanishads
Details in my ”website”
The Vedic literature that has come down to our times is attached to various traditional schools of recitation and ritual called the ‘shakhas’. All the four Vedas have more than one shakha extant. In the past, the number of shakhas studied was many times more.
According to the bhasya of Patanjali, there were 21 shakhas of Rigveda, 9 of Atharvaveda, 101 of Yajurveda (86 of Krishna Yajurveda and 15 of Shukla Yajurveda, according to later authorities) and a 1000 varieties of chanting of Samaveda. Maybe, the number 1000 for the Samaveda merely refers to ‘numerous’. Nevertheless, although only 20 or so Shakhas of the Vedas are extant now, we do possess names of most of the lost Shakhas of the Rigveda, Yajurveda and Atharvaveda. Fragments of many of the lost shakhas are also available as quotations in ancient works. For the Samaveda, we do not have more than 40 names extant.
Two different Vedic shkhas might share one or more texts amongst themselves. Conversely, the distinction between two shakhas of the same Veda might result from the use of a different Samhita text, and/or a different Brahmana text, and/or different Kalpasutra text and so on. For e.g., the Baudhayana and the Apastamba use the same Taittiriya Brahmana, Taittiriya Samhita and Taittiriya Aranyaka but follow different Kalpasutras. On the other hand, the Shankhayana and the Kaushitaka shakhas use the same Samhita and Shrauta Sutra but their brahmanas have slightly different readings and their Grhyasutras are quite different.
A group or a community of people who study a particular shakha in its entirety (Samhita + Brahmana + Aranyaka + Kalpasutra + any additional texts) and perform its ritual constitute a ‘charana’. For instance, Brahmins who study the Taittiriya Samhita/Brahmana/Aranyaka together with the Kalpasutra of Apastamba say – “I follow the Apastamba sootra’.
In certain cases, we have instances of ‘mixed shakhas’. For instance, the followers of Shakala shakha have adopted the Kalpasutra of Ashvalayana. The Ashvalayana shakha, which had the now well-known Ashvalayana Sutra, has in turn lost oral traditions of its Samhita. Likewise, the Kaushitakins of Kerala often use the Samhita of Shakalas.
The various shakhas of the Vedas were, at one time, spread throughout South Asia. Their geographical location has not been constant down the ages, as communities of Brahmins professing a particular shakha migrated from one part of India to the other, or adopted another shakha when it became impossible for them to sustain the tradition of their own shakhas.
It is quite certain however, that the tradition of recitation of the Vedic texts originated in north India, and this region was the area where almost all the shakhas originally arose. From various sources, we can determine the following geographical distribution of Vedic Shakhas at various intervals of times, and their present state of survival:
Shakala Rig veda:Thrives in Maharashtra, Karnataka, Kerala, Orissa, and Tamil Nadu and to some extent in Uttar Pradesh. Might have existed in Punjab. Nambudiris of Kerala recite even the Brahmana and Aranyaka with accents. Accented manuscripts of Brahmana and Aranyaka are available to this day.
Shankhayana Rigveda: Gujarat and parts of Rajasthan and Maharashtra. Oral tradition extinct, only manuscripts of Samhita are extant. Ritual lives in a very fragmentary condition
Bashkala RigVeda: Claims have been made about its existence in Kerala, Rajasthan, Bengal and Assam as a living tradition, but have never been verified. The Samhita exists in manuscript. Nambudiris of Kerala are said to follow this Shakha of RV as far as the Samhita is concerned but studies of their oral tradition do not seem to bear this out.
Ashvalayana Rig Veda: Manuscripts of the Samhita have been found in Kashmir, Maharashtra (Ahmadnagar) and Patna (Bihar). In parts of central and eastern India, Shakala RV texts are often attributed to Ashvalayana. For instance, the Aitareya Brahman is often called Ashvalayana Brahmana in West Bengal. Oral traditions extinct although the followers of Shakala Shakha in Maharashtra often term themselves as Ashvalayanas because they follow the Kalpasutra (Shrautasutra + Grhyasutra) of Ashvalayana.
Paingi RV: Existed in Tamil Nadu, in and around Andavan. Oral traditions lost but Brahmana texts rumored to exist.
Mandukeya RV: Magadha and eastern and central Uttar Pradesh. Possibly lower Himalayas in Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh. No text or oral tradition extant although the Brhaddevata and Rigvidhana might belong to it.
Shaunakiya AV: Gujarat, Karnataka, Rajasthan, Coastal Andhra Pradesh, Avadh region in Uttar Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh. Only Gujarat has maintained the oral traditions, and the shakha has been resuscitated in recent times in Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and in Andhra Pradesh.
Staudayana AV: According to Majjhima Nikaya, followers of this shakha lived in Koshala (central and eastern Uttar Pradesh). The shakha is completely lost.
Paippalada AV: Followers are currently found in parts of Orissa and adjacent areas of Bihar and West Bengal and recite the Samhita in ekasruti (monotone syllable). Epigraphic and literary evidence shows that they once thrived in Karnataka, Kerala, Maharashtra, and parts of Gujarat, East Bengal and in Tamil Nadu as well.
Devadarshi AV: According to literary evidence, followers of this Shakha once lived in coastal Andhra Pradesh. Other AV shakhas said to have been prevalent in that region were Shaulkayani and Munjakeshi. The shakha is completely lost.
Charanavaidya and Jajala AV: Perhaps existed in Gujarat, Central India and adjacent parts of Rajasthan. According to the Vayu and Brahmanda Puranas, the Samhita of the Charanavaidya shakha had 6026 mantras.
Mauda AV: According to some scholars, they existed in Kashmir
Madhyandina YV: Currently found all over North India- Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Punjab, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Gujarat and even Maharashtra (up to Nashik), West Bengal, Assam, Nepal. Along with Taittiriya Yajurveda, it is the most prevalent Vedic shakha. Followers of this school were found in Sindh (Pakistan) in the 19th century but became extinct after Hindus were ethnically cleansed by the Muslim majority after 1947.
Kanva YV: Currently found in Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, and Andhra Pradesh. In Orissa, the followers of this shakha follow a slightly different text. Epigraphic evidence shows that they were once present all over India, as far as Himachal Pradesh and possibly in Nepal.
Charaka YV: Interior Maharashtra, adjacent parts of Madhya Pradesh, Assam, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh. Followers of this shakha now follow the Maitrayani YV shakha, having lost their own texts.
Maitrayani YV: In Morvi (Gujarat), parts of Maharashtra (Naskik/Bhadgaon, Nandurbar, Dhule). Earlier, they were spread all the way east up to Allahabad and extended into Rajasthan and possibly into Sindh.
Kathaka YV: The oral traditions became extinct possibly a few decades ago. They were found in central and eastern Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, possibly west Punjab and NWFP. In later times, they got restricted to Kashmir, where all their extant manuscripts have been unearthed. Recently, the entire Hindu minority was cleansed from the Kashmir valley by Islamists, and so the shakha might be deemed extinct completely now.
Charayaniya Katha YV: Existed in Kashmir.
Kapisthala Katha YV: Found in West Punjab around the time of the invasion of Alexander. Also in parts of Gujarat. Only a fragmentary Samhita and Grhyasutra text exist, and followers of this shakha are said to exist at the mouths of Narmada and Tapi rivers in Gujarat.
Jabala YV: Central India, around the Narmada region. In Maharashtra, there still exist Shukla-Yajurvedin Brahmins who call themselves ‘Jabala Brahmins’, but there is no knowledge of the existence of any texts of this shakha.
Taittiriya YV: Buddhist texts and some versions of Ramayana attest their presence in the Gangetic plains but currently they are found all over Southern India. The Taittiriyas are themselves divided into numerous sub-schools. Among these, the followers of Baudhayana and Apastamba were found all over South India (including Maharashtra), while the Hiranyakeshins were found mainly in Konkan and Western Maharashtra. The Vaikhanasas have a more eastern presence- around Tirupati and Chennai. The Vadhulas are present currently in Kerala and earlier in adjacent parts of Tamil Nadu. The Agniveshyas, a subdivision of the Vadhula immigrants from Malabar, are found around Thanjavur in Tamil Nadu. The Apastamba, Hiranyakeshin, Vaikhanasa and Baudhayana schools have survived with all their texts intact. The Vadhulas survive, with most of their texts while the Bharadvajas and Agniveshyas are practically extinct as a living tradition although their fragmentary/dilapidated texts survive.
Kauthuma SV: Gujarat, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu (tradition revived with the help of Brahmins from Poona), Kerala, Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar (tradition revived a century ago), West Bengal (tradition has been revived recently). There are numerous varieties of Kauthuma chanting. This shakha is the most vibrant tradition of Samaveda.
Ranayaniya SV: Orissa (manuscripts available, status of oral tradition not known), Maharashtra, Karnataka (the Havyak community for instance), Uttar Pradesh (till recently in Bahraich and Mathura), Rajasthan (till recently in Jaipur). The existence of this shakha was endangered till recently, but it has been strengthened with the help of institutions like the Kanchi Kamakoti Matha.
Jaiminiya/Talavakara SV: Two distinct sub streams- the Namudiri recitations in Central Kerala, and the recitations of Tamil Nadu Brahmins in districts adjacent to Kerala and in and around Srirangam. The survival of these schools is endangered.
Shatyayaniya SV: Said to have been prevalent in Tamil Nadu and parts of North India. The shakha is no longer extant.
Gautama SV: Said to have been prevalent in Tamil Nadu and in Andhra Pradesh till the 17th cent. C.E. Many followers of the Kauthuma school in Andhra Pradesh still call themselves ‘Gautamas’.
Bhallavi SV: Said to have been prevalent in Karnataka and parts of North India
Other Shakhas of YV: A text called ‘Yajurvedavriksha’ gives the geographical distribution of more than 100 Shakhas of Yajurveda. This description is being left out for brevity.
Note:–RV—Rig Veda. YV—Yajur Veda. SA—Sama Veda. AV—Adharva Veda
SPREADING VEDIC KNOWLEDGE
Some five or six years ago there was a small news item in a national paper. At that time Jairam Ramesh was the minister of state for environment and forests and he had stated, ”India is losing at least 2000 patents every year on traditional formulations as the knowledge on these has never been documented.” But, he uttered this, sitting on the wrong side which never accepts our rich traditional centuaries old heritage, except very very few, as the persons who came to power never believed our heritage but believed what westeners said
2.Most of the politicians, administrators and academics do not actually know where their ancient tradition is documented and what it contains. There is a big gap between the English speaking academics and the Vedic pundits. The former forced their utterances from the time the British invaded and occupied our Country thinking that they are superior and there is no intelligentsia in our country, but Germans knew this who translated many many important portions from Vedas to german language.
3.However there is great, often untapped knowledge with Sanskrit pundits. Their knowledge might even be more crucial for a harmonious society. Sadly, western intelligentsia did not accept this and both groups don’t meet because they don’t understand each other even after the visit of Swami Vivekanand to U.S. If they would meet and exchange, India in all likelihood would be a frontrunner in scientific innovation, as well as in philosophy and consciousness research.
Further, there is allergy with ”sanskrit” language combined with ”hatred” by some sections of Society which spoiled the study of sanskrit as a language What a pity !
4.For example, the statement of the Vedas that Paramatma(Parabrahma) desired to transform itself into many, and that He is awareness, could have let to the discovery that matter is basically energy (or rather awareness), long before Einstein.This is vouchsafed in ”Sri Nrusimha Avathara”
5.Unfortunately the study of India’s tradition was gravely neglected for the past many centuries that followed in socalled “independent” India. It was even demeaned by so called intellectuals whose intellect was obviously challenged or rather brainwashed by British slavery education. With the new government, this pitiable situation might change, and the signals that come from the HRD ministry are encouraging.But, there are powerful people to block all these with ”votes”
6.Many of the leftist ‘intellectuals’,including those who lost power that was tasted by them for the past several decades however, can be expected to shout “saffronisation”. And they usually shout loudly. Sure, everybody has the right to freely express his opinion, but the right to be heard all over the world is reserved for few individuals, and so far, those intellectuals enjoyed this privilege.
7.The Vedic pundits on the other hand, who preserve the traditional knowledge, have been boycotted/ sidelined and even unfairly charged with being the main cause for the backwardness of India.The bias against the Indian tradition is difficult to understand, except for a lack in self-confidence, because the knowledge that the Rishis uncovered is truly amazing. It is the heritage of all Indians.
8.If any other country had such long history and such great achievements to show, they would stress it on every occasion. Yet in India, this knowledge has been concealed by hatred by non-believers of GOD,tradition etc ,and ignored. Instead, atheists/academics were ever ready to take up any hypothesis provided it came from the west.
9.For example, Darwin’s evolutionary theory.
Indians don’t realize that westerners have only Darwin or the Church to choose from, and Darwin looks more probable, though not really convincing. Indians have other options: they could consider the possibility that there are cycles from krutha yuga to Kali Yuga. There is plenty of evidence in Indian scriptures that in ancient times, India was spiritually and technologically highly rich in these.
10.Over the years, a few attempts were made to dig out India’s treasure. For example, in some universities, a course on Indian psychology is now on offer that has been sourced from ancient scriptures . This happened only after westerners had added a new stream to western psychology that is based on Vedic insights. Yet the Indian origin of ‘transpersonal psychology’ is not acknowledged.
In regard to psychology and philosophy, ancient India was far ahead of the modern west. Still, even today, Indian psychology students learn the simplistic theories of Pawlov and Skinner, whereas in the west, “consciousness studies” have taken off in many universities and institutes.
11.Ayurveda is finally appreciated in India again . Yet here, too, it had made already an impact in the west. The Charaka Samhita, a comprehensive treatise about what constitutes health, how to remain healthy and how to regain health, is about 2500 years old.Shushruta Samhita is another treatise from that time. Many formulations in those treatises have not yet been tested in modern times. Some formulations have been tested and several greatly valued drugs were the result of taking ancient scriptures seriously.
12.Yet Ayurveda, psychology and of course Yoga are only some aspects of India’s ancient knowledge. There is much more, and so far it was left mainly to foreigners to exploit it for their own benefit.
13.Important concepts that are uniquely found in the Vedas have meanwhile been proven correct by science. Some other concepts still need to be scrutinized, but never has any concept been proven wrong. Yet most educated Indians are ignorant about their great ancestors and don’t give them the respect they deserve.
14.Here is an example:–
The credit for the discovery of the earth going around the sun should be given to the Vedic Rishis and not to Copernicus, who lived only a few hundred years ago. Or the credit for the discovery of the solar spectrum of colours and the cosmic rays should be given to them and not to Newton and Hess respectively. Here are a few samples of what a Vedic pundit had translated and written down:
Earth goes around the sun – Rg Veda 10. 22. 14. and Yajur Veda 3. 6.
Sun neither rises nor sets – Atraya Brahman 3’44 and Gopatha Brahman 2’4’10.
Sun and whole universe are round – Yajur Veda 20. 23
Moon is enlightened by the sun – Yajur Veda 18, 20.
There are many suns – Rg Veda 9. 114. 3.
Seven colours in the sun – Atharva Veda 7. 107. 1.
Electromagnetic field, conversion of mass and energy – Rg 10. 72.
As the ancient Rishis were on target on these issues, their other statements may well also be correct or at least worthy of being taken and investigated seriously.
15.China is not hesitating to extract what it can from its ancient knowledge, and why not? A major part of the money that is worldwide generated through Feng Shui and Acupuncture flows back to China. In contrast, India is getting a measly 2 percent of the money from the huge yoga market in the west, a report says.
16. Our so called scholars were influenced by the Christians belief that the world was created only some 6000 years back..Is it not time that Indians wake up to the treasure hidden in their scriptures which are much older than what western scholars estimated?
The Rishis had always thought big and their estimate of the age of (this) universe is collaborated by astronomy. Further, their claim “the world is maya” was ridiculed, but nowadays nobody ridicules it unless he wants to make a fool of himself.
The greatest treasure of India’s wisdom, however, lies in the knowledge of what the human being truly is: he is not a separate person, the Vedas claim. He is one with Paramatma(Brahman) i.e. advaitham . His essence is pure, infinite consciousness.
And it is possible to realize this truth by living a dharmic life and doing sadhana. When the mind is stilled by dropping thoughts, the divine dimension of one’s being is accessed. True inspiration and intuition come from this level, and true happiness as well.
17. And how to drop thoughts? In the Vijnanabhairava, one of the texts of Kashmir Shaivism, 112 methods are described. Maybe they are already patented in the west and come to India in the form of seminars held by foreigners charging hefty fees? The participants from the wealthy elite would not notice nor understand that it is our wealth .Brahma Sutra ( in Kashmir ) is another example forwhich Sri Sankara, Sri Ramanuja and Sri Mathva have contributed elobarate inner meanings
18. However, in spite of the lack of traditional knowledge in the English educated classes, Indian tradition is fortunately still alive among many who don’t know/speak English. They make India still positively stand out among other countries, in spite of the vigorous attempts by our biased media to blacken her image.
These Indians were not brainwashed by the British education system against everything “Hindu”. For them, saffron is an auspicious colour signifying that desires and attachment have been burnt in the fire of renunciation. They take the advice of Swamis and Saadhus to live a sattvic life to heart. This can be seen in U.S., Briton, Australia etc Countries where Indians migrated to live and earn and at the same time do not forget to carry our traditions to the next generation even in english language. In these Countries there are temples to Shiva, Narayan etc Gods to worship and to celebrate Indian festivals
They don’t need psychological workshops. They still have reverence for their ancestors, though they may not know what their legacy consists of in detail, yet they know the basics like: ‘Paramatma/Ishwar/r Brahman is everywhere’ and ‘harming others will harm them in turn’.
19. Many are grateful that especially Brahmins have taken great pains over the millennia and still take pains to preserve the Vedas for posterity by learning an incredibly huge number of shlokas by heart.
20.If the Indian establishment, too, honours the ancient Vedic rishis and the modern Sanskrit pundits by discovering and spreading their insights, it would not only help character building in a big way, but also would instill pride in Indians to be the offspring of such great ancestors. The Vedic knowledge could again flow out all over, as it has done in earlier times and humanity as a whole would benefit.
Lord Agni, the First God in the Vedas
It is the first word of the first prayer of the first Veda. Lord Agni is the revered “Fire God”, and accepter of sacrifices of the ancient world and even today. He is also the divine messenger of the Gods between different worlds. He bridges humankind and heavenly orders – so all the sacrifices are made to him in order to go to numerous deities in the cosmos. He has the ability to transfer offerings across existences and is the link between heavenly Gods and human beings living in earth.
The brother of Lord Indra is ever young and immortal, being lit and re-lit every day. His name itself literally means fire – Ignis (Latin) and Agni (Sanskrit). He is equivalently said to be the fire of the colossal sun and countless stars, of powerful lightning and of the hearth that men light for worship. While other Gods exist faraway in different realms and have personified representation on earth, he is the one who remains closest to man in an elemental form. In fact the Fire God is the contact point of all Gods and he is said to encompass them as the circumference of a great wheel, with each God being a spoke.
In the sacred Rig Veda—-
he is sometimes addressed as Lord Rudra, who is regarded by scholars to be a precursor of Lord Shiva. Though the Guardian of the South East has no major sect in modern Hindu practices (except a handful of Agnihotri Brahmins), he is invoked in all religious ceremonies and pujas. Alongside Lord Indra and Lord Varuna, he is a part of the three supreme Vedic Gods who once ruled the roost. Gradually across centuries without losing his esteemed standing he successfully transitioned into the complex tiered Hindu pantheon of deities.
In most scriptures, Lord Agni is described as a ruddy-faced and double headed divine being. While one face is benevolent and marks immortality, the other face is malevolent and denotes the mysterious symbol of life. His hair is his most amazing feature as it stands on end like fiery glowing flames. His dark eyes peer through against his flushed red skin. The Fire God wears a spectacular garland of beautiful fruit. Some accounts say that he has three tongues while others say seven. Lord Agni has three legs and seven arms and his vahana or vehicle is his prized ram. Flames of fire shoot out from his mouth and seven streams of glory emanate from his body.
According to one of the famous hymns from the Rig Veda, Lord Indra and the other Gods were summoned to kill the Rakshas who were flesh eaters or Kravyads. Agni was a Kravyad himself whose flames consumed dead bodies. While the other Gods were baffled by the demons, Agni devoured his enemies by producing two iron tusks. He further heated up his seven streams and drove them through the hearts of the Rakshasas. Another famous tale is how he even overcame his brother the Lord of Thunder and Rain to burn down the Khandava forest in order to regain his strength.
Similar to Lord Indra’s origin, there are several versions of the story of the birth of Lord Agni. Some accounts say that he is the son of the Sky God Dyaus and Earth Mother Prithvi. Others claim that he is the son of Brahma and is thus called called Abhimani. He is also said to be the son of Kashyapa and Aditi. So he is an Aditya just like Lord Indra. Later day scriptures attribute his origin to Angiras, the king of Pitris (the fathers of mankind) and there are many hymns dedicated to this form of the Fire God.
Kindly refer my book ” Srivathsa Gothram ” also where there is mention about “Agni “
The swift messenger of divine and earthly communication is known by many appellations. The most prominent ones include Vahni (burnt sacrifice), Chhagaratha (he who rides the ram), Saptajihva (7 tongued one), Dhananjaya (who conquers riches), Vitihotra (he who purifies the worshipper), Jivalana (the one who burns) and dhumketu (whose symbol is smoke) amongst others. He is believed to be a great sage and the most divine one of all. He is the protector of all ceremonies,(homams,yagams ,sraaththams) so whether marriage or death, his presence is a must. He enables mortals to justly serve the Gods in the proper manner and which they cannot do without him in the process of puja. He even joins earth-visiting Gods and shares the reverence that they receive in temples, homes and shrines. According to the Vishnu Purana he married Swaha, by whom he has three sons – Pavaka, Pavamana and Suchi. Hence, when offerings are made to Agni, Swaha’s name is always taken .
Lord Agni’s dwelling place is the most fascinating and unique. He dwells in every abode and lives with every worshipful family that light a fire, a lamp or an incense flame. This supreme mediator between God and man is thus also known as the Lord of the House and blesses those who absorb the sacred warmth of his fire. He is also a welcoming entity for other Gods as he sustains lamps during various Indian festivals and greets Gods as they enter the homes of mortals.
Praying to Lord Agni ensures several lifelong benefits including success and material wealth. He nourishes those who offer food and protect worshippers from enemies. In fact he is present in all phases of mortal life – when diyas are lit honoring birth, during birthdays when lamps or candles on cakes are lit, and prayers during the coming of age ceremonies. Of course the Fire Lord presides over Hindu weddings as the holy union happens during the seven pheras (the bride and groom encircle the fire seven times) before being pronounced man and wife. Lord Agni is said to help man tide over calamities and also forgive sinners by showing them the light and guiding them in inner reflection. At funerals, at the time of cremation the Fire God warms the immortal part of the deceased, and in his most auspicious form accompanies souls on their journey to the heavens.
Thus Lord Agni is invoked for all temporal good – wealth, food and liberation.
Let us always worship “Agni” —-
let us perform “samithadaanam ” ( brahmacharis) and Oubasanam ( Grahasthan )
and even ” Agnihothram ” if possible !
The process of Agnihotra consists of making two offerings to the fire exactly at the time of sunrise & sunset along with the chanting of two small Sanskrit mantras.The offerings consist of two pinchfuls of uncooked rice grains smeared with a few drops of cow’s pure ghee.
The fire is prepared out of dried cowdung cakes in a small copper pot of a semi-pyramid shape. The positive effects of Agnihotra are an outcome of simultaneous functioning of many subtle scientific principles such as, effect of chanting of specific sounds on the atmosphere and mind, energies emanating from the pyramid- shape, nutritional effect of burning of medicinal ingredients and the effects of bio-rhythms etc .
Agnihotra balances the cycle of nature and nourishes the human life. It creates pure, clean and medicinal atmosphere. It cleanses the negative effects of pollution.
Agnihotra is for purification and healing of the atmosphere. The atmosphere in which we live today is polluted in all respects. Many complex problems which the world witnesses today have their origin in pollution.
In today’s polluted atmosphere, we witness mass destruction of forests, disappearance of many species of plants, animals, insects, birds, disturbance in ecocycles, ozone depletion, global warming, acid rain and decreasing agricultural production. Human health is at stake. Many killing diseases like cancer and AIDS are on the rise. Increased alcoholism and drug abuse is a great challenge. Human mind is under great stress giving rise to more violence and many complex family and social problems. The list is unending.
For the Practice of Agnihotra a Few Disciplines are Observed:
Agnihotra is performed exactly at local sunrise/sunset timings.
A semi-pyramid shaped copper pot has to be used.
A small fire prepared using dried cow dung cakes.
Two pinchfuls of uncooked rice grains smeared with few drops of cow’s ghee are offered in fire.
Two simple Sanskrit mantras are chanted while offering.
The Sunrise and Sunset Mantras:
In the morning exactly at sunrise the offerings are made with the Mantras: (While meditating on the divinity, viz. Soorya)
1. ‘Sooryaya svaha, sooryaya idam na mama’
2. ‘Prajapataye swaha, prajapataye idam na mama’ (God or divinity of creation)
And in the Evening Exactly at the Sunset the Offerings are Made With the Mantras:
(While meditating on divinity fire-god.)
1. ‘Agnaye swaha, agnaye idam na mama’
2. ‘Prajapataye swaha, prajapataye, idam na mama’ (God or divinity of creation)
Effects of Agnihotra:
The positive effects of Agnihotra are an outcome of simultaneous functioning of many subtle scientific principles, such as, effect of chanting of specific sounds on the atmosphere and mind, energies emanating from the pyramid- shape, nutritional effects of burning the medicinal ingredients, effects of the bio-rhythms etc. Agnihotra balances the cycle of nature and nourishes the human life. It creates pure, clean and medicinal atmosphere. It cleanses the negative effects of pollution.
Please have faith in ”Vedic Astrlogy”
Vedic knowledge is more important—than reciting ”vedas” without digesting the actual meanings
Agnihotra ,if performed according to the ”dictum” of vedas will purify as stated above
Vaishnavas should perform
brahma yajgam —-after ”Deva Rishi—Khanda Rishi—Pithru Tharpana”
samithaadanam—to be performed by ”brahmacharis”
agni santhaanam—-to be performed by ”gruhastha”
oubasanam –continuation of ”agni santhanam”
Mere studies of ”plus2” , gratuation, engineering, medical, etc etc and also westernised education are not giving any good character, conduct, respect to elders, good behaviour etc to many people .This is what many elite persons say in their conversations.
On the other hand,
Performing ”Samithaadanam”. ”agni santhanam” ”oubhasanam” will give all such of those good things, besides mental balance, wealth (Agni Santhanam, Oubhasanam) and fine behaviour
Adiyen’s submission is that next generation has to be taught all these treasures by our Vedic Pundits convincing their parents and also their boys to perform all these,of course without compromising to do nithya karmas such as ”thrikala sandya”