rakta-chAmuNDA mohinI vidyA

•October 11, 2007 • Leave a Comment

vishvayonIM shaktiM AdishaktiM sanAtanIM |
mAta~NgIM madirAmodAM vande jagadIshvarIM |
mohinIM sarvalokAnAM bIjAM shAmbhavIM trayIM |
sarvArtha sAdhinIM bAlAM tripurAM shAmbhavIM priyAM |
abhIShTaphaladAM devIM vande tAM jagadIshvarIM ||

aiM IM sauM sakalasurAsura sarva bhramarI sarva-saMkShobhiNI sarva-vidrAviNI sarva-kledinI sarva-manonmAdinI bhakta-trANa parAyaNI OM hrIM raktachAmUNDI kuru kuru AkarShaya OM hrIM kroM paramayoginI paramakalyANI pavitrI IshvarI svAhA ||

viShNu stuti-s from nR^isiMha purANa

•October 9, 2007 • Leave a Comment

The below stuti/ divya-nAma pArAyaNaM was recited by rudra to praise viShNu to incite him to slay hiraNyakashipu. A person who due to inability or lack of time cannot recite the viShNu-sahasranAma stotraM on a day of laukika worship of viShNu might recite this stotra instead. A person of the 4th varNa wanting a suitable stuti in deva bhASha for his devotions might sincerely recite this stuti.

|| mahAdeva virachita vAsudeva stuti ||
viShNur-jiShNur-vibhur-devo yaj~nesho yaj~napAlakaH |
prabha-viShNur-grasiShNushcha lokAtmA lokapAlakaH || 1

keshavaH keshihA kalpaH sarva-kAraNa-kAraNaM |
karma-kR^id-vAmatAdhIsho vAsudevo puruShTutaH || 2
AdikartA varAhashcha mAdhavo madhusUdanaH |

nArAyaNo naro haMso viShvakseno hutAshanaH || 3
jyotiShmAn dyutimAn shrImAn AyuShmAn puruShottamaH |
vaikuNThaH puNDarIkAkShaH kR^iShNaH sUryaH surArchitaH || 4

narasiMho mahAbhImo vajradaMShtro nakhAyudhaH |

Adidevo jagat-karta yogesho garuDadhvajaH || 5

govindo gopatir-gopta bhupatir-bhuvaneshvaraH |

padmanAbho hR^ishikesho vibhur-dAmodaro-hariH || 6

trivikraMas-trilokeshaH brahmeshaH prItivardhanaH |

vAmano duShTa-damano govindo gopavallabhaH || 7

bhaktipriyo.achyutaH satyaH satyakIrtir-dhruvaH shuchiH |

kAruNyaH karaNo vyAsaH pApahA shanti-vardhanaH || 8

medhAvI shAstra-tattvaj~no mandAra-giri-ketanaH |
badarI-nilayaH shAntaH tapasvI vidyuta-prabhaH || 9

bhUtAvAso guhAvAsaH shrinivAsaH shriyaH patiH |

tapovAso damovAsaH satyavAsaH sanAtanaH || 10

puruShaH puShkalaH puNyaH puSkarAkSho maheshvaraH |
pUrNaH pUrtiH purANaj~nyaH puNyaj~naH puNyavardhanaH || 11

sha~Nkhi chakrI gadI shAr~NgI lA~NgalI halI |

kirITI kuNDalI hArI mekhalI kavachI dhvajI || 12

jiShNur-jetA mahAvIraH shatrughnaH shatrutApanaH |

shAntaH shAntikaraH shAstA sha~NkaraH shantanustutaH || 13

sArathiH sAttvikaH svAmI sAmavedaH priyaH samaH |

sAvarNaH sAhasI satvaH saMpUrNAshaH saMR^iddhimAn || 14

svargadaH kAmadaH shrIdaH kirtida ArtinAshanaH |
mokShadaH puNDarIkAkSho kShIrAbdhi dhR^itaketanaH || 15

stutaH surAsurairIshaH prerakaH pApanAshanaH |
tvaM yaj~nas-tvaM vaShaTkAras-tvam-o~NkAras-tvam-agnayaH || 16

tvaM svAhA tvaM svadhA devaH tvaM sudhA puruShottama |
namo devAtidevAya viShNave shAshvatAya cha || 17

anantAyAprameyAya namaste garuDadhvaja ||

The deva-s composed the below stuti in the connection with the incarnation of viShNu as matsya. A person desiring victory over his foes may circle a sarvatobhadra maNDala five times, like the one built by emperor vikramAditya of the gupta-s at Deogarh, uttering the below stuti:

|| deva-virachita vijayArtha stuti ||
namaste devadevAya lokanAthAya shAr~NgiNe |
namaste padmanAbhAya lokanAthAya shAr~NgiNe |

namaste padmanAbhAya sarvaduHkhApahAriNe |
namaste vishvarUpAya sarva-devamayAya cha |

madhu-kaiTabha-nAshAya keshavAya namo namaH ||

Iterative circles

•October 7, 2007 • Leave a Comment


•October 7, 2007 • Leave a Comment

It came in the dark hours of morning and it looked bad. It was almost as if everything else that was said before it was being negated. The way the khANDavan’s operated after it made it clear that it was acting in their favor. It completely weakened us before them. There was no way out of it at all in this plane over the next few days. We were suddenly pushed to a tense position even as the amAtya warned us about it.

Basal theropod phylogeny

•October 6, 2007 • Leave a Comment

The base of the theropod tree has been shaky despite major advances in understanding avian origins and the evolution of coelurosaurs. A part of the problem has been the poor Triassic and early Jurassic record of the theropods. A key to unlocking the phylogeny of early theropods was a spectacular find from the Early Jurassic fossil beds of Antartica, Cryolophosaurus. Finally, a long needed osteological study of Cryolophosaurus was conducted by ND Smith et al which offers and extraordinary view of theropod evolution. The early phylogenetics studies of theropods hinted suggested that there were two major clades within them the ceratosaurs and the tetanurans. Further, staurikosaurids and Eoraptor were considered basal-most clades of theropods. But this has been questioned over the years with newer analysis of the “ceratosaurs” and the discovery of new fossils like the well-preserved Zupaysaurus from South America and the fragmentary Dracovenator from South Africa. The new analysis by Smith et al incorporates data from Cryolophosaurus and improves the picture vastly.

In a nutshell it makes the following points:
Eoraptor and the staurikosaurids are basal saurischians rather than theropods.
– The basal-most theropod clade is a coelophysoid clade comprised of forms like Liliensternus, Coelophysis, Syntarsus and Segisaurus.
Zupaysaurus is a sister group of all other remain theropod groups.
-Of the remaining theropods the basal-most clade is the dilophosaurid clade formed by Dilophosaurus, Dracovenator, Cryolophosaurus, and “Dilophosaurus” sinensis from the Lufeng formation.
-The next clade which forms a sister group of the tetanurans is the neoceratosaurid clade which includes within it Ceratosaurus, Elaphrosaurus and the abelisauroids.
-The basal-most tetanuran clade unifies the two south American forms Condorraptor and Piatnitzkysaurus.
-The major clades within tetanurae are: spinosauroids (including spinosaurids proper and Eustreptospondylus, Torvosaurus and Afrovenator); allosauroids (including sinraptorids, carcharodontosaurids and Megaraptor, which emerges as a carcharodontosaurid); coelurosauria.

Examining the Chandodarshana

•October 4, 2007 • Leave a Comment

We had earlier alluded to the Neo-vedic composition attributed daivarAta gajAnana sharma aka daivarAta, a student of the great Sanskrit poet kAvyakaNTha gaNapati shAstrI. A student of Sanskrit poetry will be definitely benefited by reading his masterly work on indrANI or umA devI, the umA-sahasraM, a 1000 verse composition in which each 25 verses are in different Chandas. Some of them bring out the wonders of dhvani in the classical meters. While I had heard of this neo-Vedic composition for long it took a while before I finally laid my hands on the Chandodarshana in nAgarI script along with its anvaya bhAShya to examine it.

shrI gaNapati curiously comments that at the time of the production of the Chandodarshana the young daivarAta was not particularly well-versed in saMskR^ita composition. He says these mantra-s came out of his mouth while he was meditating near the reNukAMbA temple and he [gaNapati muni] collected and recorded the full and clear ones. To me the whole piece seems to be gaNapati muni’s work with daivarAta apparently a mere instrument. He gives this away by cryptically alluding to his ancestor in the opening phrase “vasiShTho giraH” Now the big question is it really a simulation of vedic? Below are the conclusions of my analysis:
-svAra rules: largely follow R^ig vedic pattern, with kaMpa svarita-s and basic udAtta accents generally similar to their vedic counterparts.
-mythology and history: Very low mythological content compared to the real veda- vR^itra saMgrAma, vala, namuchi etc receive little attention. Vedic heroes like divodAsa athitigva, trasadasyu, sudAsa etc receive no mention.
-ritual: Limited references to ritual in general. References to the soma ritual are very few in comparison to the actual vedic corpus. The shrauta fire ritual too is minimally alluded to. Instead a ritual of drinking and offering pa~ncha gavya is presented. Ritual words : e.g. juhomi, havAmahe, yajAmahe are minimally used.
-devatA-s: marut-s, ashvinA and mitrAvaruNa have a relatively limited presence compared to the real veda. The devatA dvandva-s are also conspicuous by their absence or rarity. There is an enormous emphasis on sarasvati, way beyond what is seen in the RV – in fact she is the most hymned deity in this collection. viShNu is identified with the puruSha, something which is absent in the RV or the earlier vedic texts. sarasvatI is mainly hymned in her aspect as vAk rather than as the deity of the water cycle and rivers, which is the dominant theme in the RV. rudra’s wife is named as gaurI rather than pR^iShNi, which is the name in the RV. brahmaNaspati is prominently connected with sarasvati- something which is typical of later hindu thought rather than in the RV.
-influence of the nirukta: The nirukta scheme of ordering deities, and the terms and synonyms used by the nirukta play a dominant role in the refrains and organization of the hymns.
-language: While there are archaisms that resemble the vedic language rather than classical saMskR^ita, there are many features distinguishing it from the real RV language e.g. : use of classical dvandva i.e. ashvinau instead of RV ashvinA; use of the term puruSha throughout the corpus in the sense of person. puruSha is a late RV word coming to fore only in the maNDala 10 in the puruSha hymn; use of the particle IM (usually meaning “now” or “indeed” – like in ya IM shR^iNotyuktam) in an excess and implying its tAntric sense as a bIja of the devI. In essence, different layers of RV dialects are homogenized. Use of vyAhR^iti-s in RV-styled verse is again not typical of the original. vyAhR^itis are typical of yajushes.
-philosophy: several upaniShadic elements seem to dominate. e.g.: prANa-s being compared to marut-s, Atman, puruSha etc.

So in short Chandodarshana is a modern author’s emulation of the R^ig, conditioned by the subsequent interpretive tradition and developments. Nevertheless, it is one of those rare modern examples of vedic-styled poetry that bears many features of the original. It does illustrate gaNapati muni’s tremendous poetic abilities both in the classical and vedic realm — he would have truly been a R^iShi had he lived in the vedic period.

Philosophizing on magnetic sight

•October 1, 2007 • Leave a Comment

I wanted to document the great victory of the Hindu armies in the land of Karroo. After the memories of 1983 which are faint, almost going back to our infancy, this is the only time we have displayed any notable valor in battle with the two Rajput warriors on the helm putting to sword the Anglo-Saxons, the peerless pirates from down under, the Voortrekkers and finally the bloody-eyed al-ghazis. But then I was talking to people who make little sense of cricket. But R and I had a long talk that starting from Steve Irwin’s crocodiles, passed through a three part BBC documentary on reptiles, then through cryptochromes whose ancient origins we had nailed, and finally took a philosophical turn on to consciousness. I would have liked to capture the various elements of it, both scientific and philosophical, but for now just a few points for we are like the haunted man chased by a vetAla.

“vedA yo vInAm padam antarikSheNa patatAm |” (shunaHshepa Ajigarti in RV 1.25.7a)
[varuNa] knows the migratory path of the birds through the atmosphere

“sarvA vA iyaM vayobhyo naktaM dR^iShe dIpyate | tasmAd imAM vayAMsi naktaM nAdhy Asate | ya evaM vidvAn agniM chinute praty eva tiShTya abhi disho jayati |” TS 5.6.4
All this (earth) in the eyes of the birds shines at night, therefore at night birds do not rest here. He who knowing this piles a fire finds support, and conquers all the quarters.

How do the birds manage their great feats of navigation, which need no further dilation ? How do they manage to home so accurately?

I believe the main reason why we fail to understand this well is because we apparently lack the magnetic sense. We have sight so we recognize an eye when we see it another animal or for that matter even in an alga like Chlamydomonas. We smell and taste so we can recognize the chemoreception in other organisms, we hear and we feel various stimuli via skin and sense stretch thus we are able to recognize auditory and tactile receptors elsewhere in the living world. These senses tend to dominant our conscious experience. There are two other senses that are less obtrusive on the consciousness — being filtered out most of the time. One of them strongly impinges on the consciousness, when altered — the balance sense. The other one, proprioception, while apparently filtered out does seem to contribute to the sense of I, an important part of conscious experience. But when it comes to magnetic sense most of us do not know what that is, and hence lack that experience to easily recognize its receptors in other animals.

Yet we have come to realize over the ages that it is one of the primary forces behind avian migration and homing.
continued …

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