Saturday, April 21, 2007

The Multilayered Consciousness

Thinking, feeling are the two ways of human cognition. These are popularized by Bollywood paradigms of listening to heart, OR thinking by brains. Neurologically, it implies the positive and negative interference of lymbic system in decision making process. According to Patanjali Yogsutras, it is the medium of cognition, mind, intellect and ego (Ahamkar). In commons words it means application of logical OR emotional faculties of self while taking a decision.

Although neutral viewpoint is advised by the scriptures, it is not possible to keep it all the time, not even for an accomplished yogi. Everyone plays in these three planes. like electron which is orbiting the nucleus has specific energy levels. The electron undergoes transition in various energy levels. Electron cannot choose any arbitrary energy levels. there are permitted energy levels which it can be in which are different for different element and molecule.

Similarly, every person, although resides either in mind, intellect or ego, his permitted transitions and energy levels are unique and hardly similar to any other individual. Mind can provide same energy level with greater flexibility. Intellect is quite rigid as compared to mind it provision of similar consciousness levels for two individuals, but it does provide. Ego is something that is exclusively private or fingerprint consciousness level. unique and hence identity mark of an individual.

But the most pressing question is, what is ME? Does me imply my heart, my mind, my intellect, my ego, my instincts.. what is me?

I think it is just different plane of consciousness we are referring to.. It all depends upon the depth of the topic we are discussing. And degree of seriousness with which we treat to a particular topic at different times. The human being transits between different consciousness levels on the basis of his mood, his experience in immediate past, his nurture, his nature.

Some times, certain topic strikes the inner chords (wherever they are).. Some other times, same topic fails to make even a slightest impact..

The Transitions of consciousness

I would compare this phenomenon with transitions of electrons between different energy level in particular atom OR molecule. As long as electron is in particular orbital, it has completely become part of that orbital, so thoroughly amalgamated that the very orbital comes into existence due to the electron cloud. It is audacious to call electron a dabbler in truest sense. But it is true, however that electron does not remain in particular energy level for long, unless it is its ground state OR in simplistic terms, its resting state.

The transitions of consciousness is similar to that of such electron. It is really difficult to predict in which plane the mind of an artist is. For that matter even a scientist. And when in a particular consciousness level, the person becomes so much a part of it, so completely unified and in sync with that level that he marvels at himselves when he looks at his own creation from his normal ground state, as in, How could I do it. How could this come out of me.

Other people who do not have their creative faculties well developed, do not show the intense transitions. It is not that they do not experience such transitions. But they suppress the transiting consciousness to ground state because they value mental stability over possible creativity.

It is during these transitions, that any innovative and creative individual, Creates OR innovates OR invents OR discovers something. Coupled with the law of permitted transitions, it altogether becomes extremely complex and hence beautiful system.

This law of permitivity explains that why a particular individual can never take a particular decision OR never react to a particular situation as other person does so easily. Not only decisions, but also strengths and weaknesses of an individual is dependent upon these permitted Consciousness transition levels and sublevels. This law of permitivity also explains why few people are more versatile than others. The famous examples are that of Kishore Kumar, and Pu la Deshpande two of the most versatile artists known to India. Others, and sometimes even they marvel at their feat of being able to transit in so many consciousness levels in their life times.

Conscious mind is so much multi layered that it takes life time for a person to decipher its undercurrents. yet, it is impossible to know ourselves completely..

Vedanta asks this question in such a subtle manner..
Ko aham? Who am I..

Perhaps, answer to this question leads to answer to all the questions..
Because, perhaps, we in ourselves are everything in the entire universe/multiverse...

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Vedic Epoch and War of Ten Kings

The history of India can conveniently divided into following epochs.

Vedic epoch
Puranic epoch
historic epoch

Vedic epoch comprises of all the migrations, invasions, sociology of the period of time which is immortalized in the verses of 4 Vedas. Vedic epoch is a misleading term as Vedas themselves were written in stages. Looking at the astronomical evidences and hints in Vedas, we can safely conclude that they were composed after uniform intervals of about 1500 years. The sociology goes on getting more and more complex down the time line. Aryans and non-Aryan concepts slowly start segregating as we start reading Rigveda.

The key element in Vedic epoch is that it is not a HINDU History. It is more of a diary of records written in various intervals of time.
The Concept of India and all-encompassing philosophy of Hinduism slowly goes on blooming as we read through the pages of Rigveda.

Unique characteristics of Indians in Vedic epoch of Indian history are as follows.

1) Highly observant group of people. Have made many startling observations that put the discoveries of western astronomy to shame.
2) Irrespective of the genetic ethnicity, which is highly debated, the community was more aggressive initially. But with time it mellowed down.
3) Discovery the characteristic social hierarchy that has been the trademark of Indian society because of its institution. What is impressive is the social flexibility in this Varna-institution in Vedic and, to a bit lesser extent, in Puranic epoch.

Few verses in Rigveda indeed suggest the days being 6 months long. These verses are taken by AIT advocates to explain the invasion pattern. But nowhere in Rigveda are arctic flora and fauna mentioned. Rigveda remains very much Indian in composition. Yet existence of such verses in Rigveda do elicit doubts. Any addition to Vedic literature was subjected to stringent peer-review. Since the Vedas were passed on orally, the volume was kept optimum by the means of constant review. These verses may make sense simply because they were important at the time when they were incorporated in Vedas. Had they been nonsensical, then they would not have been present Vedas. OTOH, had they been truth, they would not have been found in isolation. This enigma needs to be studied thoroughly.

The War of Ten Kings - DashaRaadnya Yuddha

The first war mentioned in the Indian history belongs to Vedic epoch.
It is famously called Dasha-Raagnya Yuddha. Dasha- ten. Ragnya-Kings. War of Ten Kings.

It is extensively discussed in 7th mandala of Rigveda.

It elaborately describes the prevailing political scenario. The alliance of ten kings which invaded Bharatas and Sudas was in fact a confederation of Vedic and Non Vedic people. The tribes like Anus (Yavans??), Bhrigus (descendents of Varuna), Parthas, Purus, were all Vedic Aryans in origin. Whereas Pakhtas, Bhalanas, Dasyus, were all nonvedic in origin.

Bhalans were the tribes near Kabul and Bolan Pass. Pakhtas were Supposedly Pathans. The name Pakhtunistan suggests this possibility. Purus were residents of Sapta-Sindhu region.

The dasyus are of particular interest. Either they were Iranian counterparts of Aryans OR they were Scythians. Although Scythians never existed in such antiquity, the reason of this speculation is the term Dahae Scythiae is used by historians to describe Scythians in modern Turkmenistan. But in all probability, Dasyus OR Dahyus OR Dahae formed one of the most important part of invading force. Given the long standing animosity between Vedics and Dasyus, it is quite possible.

Anyways, to make long story short, Few Vedic kings/clans allied with non-Vedic tribes to defeat Sudas and Purus. The invading force was goaded by Vishwamitra, the famous King who later bacame a famous sage and the composer of Gayatri Mantra.

The proper battle took place on the western banks of Parusni OR Ravi River in Punjab. The accounts in Mandala 7 hymn 18 suggests that in initial engagements Sudas's army was defeated. However, they knew their country better than the invaders. They found place to safely cross the Ravi River and come on the eastern shores. The invaders, however, found it difficult to cross the river. Indra and Varuna helped Sudas to won over ten kings.

In my conclusion, there were some untimely heavy rains which disrupted the formations of invading army. Verses mention river destroying invaders by the orders of Indra. Whatever the case, army of ten kings was destroyed during their attempt to cross the river while pursuing the fleeing army of Sudas. The commander of invading army Bheda was slain by Sudas himself.

In 7.18.19, it says that Yamuna and Trutsus came to the aid of Indra. Since Indra is god of rains, it can help OR can be helped by the means of Water and Wind. Waters of Yamuna coming to Aid Indra in Punjab is highly unlikely today. But if we accept the presence of Saraswati in between Ganga and Sindhu, the guess becomes more believable.

This battle is given place in Rigveda because of its improbability of result. Franky, not even the composers of these verses expected Sudas to win. His victory is termed as victory of Deer over Lion in 7.18.17..

The aftermaths of the battle were as usual. Sudas got the booty from conquered. The distant tribes promised to pay regular tributes. Sapta-Sindhu and Aryavarta came under the dominion of Bharatas. Perhaps this was the beginning of Indian Empire. Which later came to be known as Bharat-varsha OR Bharat after the king OR clan which unified it.