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Thread: Vedas, Puranas and the Hollow Earth Theory - Part 1 or 3

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    Re: Vedas, Puranas and the Hollow Earth Theory - Part 1 or 3

    Namaste Sudarshan,

    Quote Originally Posted by Sudarshan
    Most Astrologers still propagate false tales like other planets having influence on us and controlling us from the sky. Such ridiculous assertions must be objected to by all Hindus.
    I am happy that I am learning a lot from members who are well-versed in this forum. The joy of learning prompts me to venture with my own posts and threads (some of which, I know, could be hollow). Learning and growing in knowledge is a continuous, life-long process, a very joyous one at that.

    Motivated by Sudarshan's comments quoted above, I turned to the pages of the Kanchi Saint for a treatise on Jyotisha. It was quite a revelation! I am delighted to share some of the information here (which may be familiar to many members).

    Paramacharya Explains the Science of Jyotisha
    (Source: http://www.kamakoti.org/hindudharma/part10/chap1.htm to chap7.htm)

    1. Jyotisha is one of the six limbs of the Veda Purusha, actually his eye. [Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami's Lexicon explains that the term means 'the science of lights' (stars and other heavenly bodies)]. It has another name nayanam, meaning 'to lead'. Just as the eye leads a person, so does Jyotisha (the combined science of Astronomy and Astrology) was used to lead the Vedic rituals.

    2. Important works on Jyotisha are the samhitas (treatises) of Garga, Narada and Parasura; Suryasiddhanta that incorporates the teachings of the Sun god to Maya, the carpenter of the Asuras, and the works of Varahamihira, Aryabhata and Bhaskaracarya. In recent times there was Sri Sundaresvara Srautin who wrote a work called Siddhanta-Kausthubham. The ancient authors were well versed in astronomy and astrology.

    3. Known as 'Skandha-trayatmakam', Jyotisha consists of three skandhas or sections: siddhanta (astronomy), hora (predictive astrology) and samhita (mundane astrology).

    4. The siddhanta-skandha deals with arithmetic, trigonometry, geometry and algebra. The higher mathematics developed by the west in later centuries is found in our ancient Jyotisha. Arithmetic was known as vyakta-ganita, algebra as avyakta-ganita or bijaganita, and geometry was Jyamiti (from which the English term was derived). Along with kalpa, (the sixth limb of Veda Purusha -- his hands), which contains the sulba-sutras or forumulas, these branches of mathematics were used to compute the exact measurements and shape of yajnavedi, the sacrificial altar.

    5. The term samikarana indicates an equation. An equation in the Apastamba sulba sutras could not be proved by Westerners, which they thought was faulty, and they accepted it as right only later. There are a number of old equations still to be solved.

    6. The books on Mathematics also deal with the movements of celestial bodies. The ancient grahas (planets) included the five planets (Mars, Mercury, Jupiter, Venus and Saturn), the Sun, the Moon and the caya grahas (shadow planets) Rahu and Ketu.

    7. The hora-skandha deals with the planetary position and movements and their influence on human life. The sages saw a relationship between the position and movements of the planets and the destiny of man, the sorrow and happiness experienced by him. How does this happen? To quote Paramacharya:
    Different reasons are given for the ups and downs in a man's life for his joys and sorrows. It is similar to finding out the different causes of the ailment he suffers from. The physician will explain that the disease is due to an imbalance in the "dhatus". The mantravadin will say that it is due to the gods being displeased with the patient, while the astrologer will observe that it is all in his (the patient's) stars. The pandit versed in Dharmasastra will explain that the illness is the fruit of the man's past actions, his karma. And the psychologist will express the view that the bodily affliction is related to an emotional disturbance. What is the true cause?

    All these different causes may be valid. All of them together go to create an experience. When it rains it becomes wet and the place is swarmed with winged white ants. Frogs croak. All these are indicators of the rain. Many outward signs manifest themselves as the fruits of our past karma. They are all related to one another. The course of the planets governing our life is in accordance with our karma. We come to know the consequences of our past actions in previous births in various ways. Astrological calculations help us to find out such consequences as indicated by the heavenly bodies
    8. The samhita-skandha discusses subjects such as divination of an underground water source, perfumes manufacture, and the right measurements of a house. It also discusses sakuna (sign) and nimitta (omen). Since sakuna literally means a bird, only signs connected with birds come under its category. What does a bird flying from right to left indicate? What is foretold by the chirping of such and such a bird? Question like these belong to the sakuna-sastra. Nimitta means omen. When a cat crosses our path it is an omen; when an eagle flies above us it is a sakuna. A nimitta does not produce any result on its own. It points to the result that has already been ordained by some other factor -- or, in other words, it merely indicates the fruits of our past karma.

    9. Bhaskaracarya found out that his daughter Lilavati had mangalya dosha in her horoscope, that suggested early widowhood and was dependent on the position of Mars. Bhaskaracarya used all his wits and arranged the marriage at the most auspicious moment favourable to the bride, when she was still a child, according to the custom. Time was measured in those days using a water pot that resembled an hour glass. Water tricked from an upper container to a lower in drops through a suitable hole. The lower container was graduated to mark the measurement of time in nazhikai (nadika), one sixtieth of a day or 24 minutes. Fascinated by this time apparatus, Lilavati was intently looking into the upper vessel, but did not notice a pearl slip from her nose-stud drop into the vessel. This partially blocked the hole, causing a miscalculation of time. When it was found out, it was too late. Bhaskaracarya named his mathematical treatise after his daughter's name and made her daughter highly proficient in the subjects of mathematics. We learn the text of an edict in the Pracinalekhamala that a Gurjara (Gujarat) king had made an endowment to popularise the works of Bhaskaracarya.

    10. Sun is called saptasva (one with seven horses), but the term asva also means kirana or ray. Eko asvo vahati saptanama says Taittiriya Aranyaka (the same ray has seven names). Thus the ancients found out the prismatic (VIBGYOR) composition of a ray of sunlight.

    11. The very first stanza in the Suryasiddhanta, which is a very ancient treatise, states that it is the force of attraction that keeps the earth from falling. In Sankara's commentary on the Upanisads there is a reference to the earth's force of attraction. Says Paramacharya, "The Prasnopanisad (3.8) states: 'The deity of the earth inspires the human body with apana'. In his commentary on this, Sankara observes that, just as an object thrown up is attracted by the earth, so prana that goes up is pulled down by apana. This means that our Upanisads contain a reference to the law of gravitation. There are many such precious truths embedded in our ancient sastras."

    12. The term laghu means light, small, etc. and guru means heavy. A guru is actually a 'weighty' personality, a great man who has mastered the sastras. Since the student is laghu, he goes round his guru. This is based on laghava-gaurava nyaya. By adducing this reason for the earth going round the sun, Aryabhata combined science with a traditional sastric belief.

    13. Siva is called "Ashtamurti". Earth, water, air, fire, space, the sun and the moon, the yajamana or sacrificer--they are all the personification (murti) of Isvara. Among them only the yajamana has no bhramana or motion. All the rest have bhramana, says Appayya Diksita. That he has said so is mentioned in the verse in question by his younger brother's grandson, Nilakantha Diksita.

    14. For centuries the Europeans thought that the shape of the Earth was flat like a plate; Whereas the very term bhugola sastra indicates that our ancients knew that the earth was a gola or sphere. And they called the universe brahmanda (the egg of brahman), indicating that the universe is oval in shape, a fact confirmed by modern science. In addition, the term jagat means something in motion, so it was known that our cosmos was in motion.

    Swami Yukteswar Giri (guru of Swami Paramahansa Yogananda) says, "Charlatans have brought the stellar science to its present state of disrepute. Astrology is too vast, both mathematically and philosophically, to be rightly grasped except by men of profound understanding. If ignoramuses misread the heavens, and see there a scrawl instead of a script, that is to be expected in this imperfect world. One should not dismiss the wisdom with the 'wise.'" (Autobiography of a Yogi, chapter 16).

    As for the other queries of Sudarshan, I am not competent to answer them, nor can I hunt for satisfactory explanations. Members who are in knowledge may add clarity to subjects such as the shadow planets Rahu and Ketu and whether the rishis of Satya Yuga were sinners in the earlier Kali Yuga, etc.

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    Re: Vedas, Puranas and the Hollow Earth Theory - Part 1 or 3

    Quote Originally Posted by saidevo
    I am happy that I am learning a lot from members who are well-versed in this forum. The joy of learning prompts me to venture with my own posts and threads (some of which, I know, could be hollow). Learning and growing in knowledge is a continuous, life-long process, a very joyous one at that.

    Motivated by Sudarshan's comments quoted above, I turned to the pages of the Kanchi Saint for a treatise on Jyotisha. It was quite a revelation! I am delighted to share some of the information here (which may be familiar to many members).
    I do not know if I appeared a little too harsh with some astrologers, inspite of my own relationship with astrology, and I wrote a comprehensive software program on Astrology a few years ago. The idea to keep in mind is that Astrology cannot be classified as a deterministic science, but as a probabilistic science, much like weather prediction. Atleast that is what is possible for an ordinary astrologer without the faculties of Yogic intution. Sages like varAhamihira were tall order Yogis, and hence their words never fail. Whenever I see books claiming "Astrology is a science par excellence" I do tend to object because of their dilution of the definition of science, which relies on demonstration and evidence. Astrology can be proved using statistical evidence, and if one could do this with a large sample space, it can be classified as a science.

    Hindu Astrology is based on the law of Karma, and the planets themselves indicate the kArmic patterns at the time of birth, and this works because it was designed so by God. All these external planets are mapped in our subtle and causal bodies - they are the various Yogic AdhArAs, and they are consequently the true indicators of Karma.

    When many astrologers mention that planets send out good and evil rays and interfere with the lives of people, the whole thing begins to look like a fairy tale. We must be careful while dealing with occult topics. Planets dont intefere with anybody - they are mere indicators of Karma.
    Guard your Dharma, Burn the Myth, Promote the Truth, Crush the superstition.

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    Re: Vedas, Puranas and the Hollow Earth Theory - Part 1 or 3

    Namaste Sudarshan,

    Quote Originally Posted by Sudarshan
    I do not know if I appeared a little too harsh with some astrologers, inspite of my own relationship with astrology, and I wrote a comprehensive software program on Astrology a few years ago. The idea to keep in mind is that Astrology cannot be classified as a deterministic science, but as a probabilistic science, much like weather prediction. Atleast that is what is possible for an ordinary astrologer without the faculties of Yogic intution. Sages like varAhamihira were tall order Yogis, and hence their words never fail. Whenever I see books claiming "Astrology is a science par excellence" I do tend to object because of their dilution of the definition of science, which relies on demonstration and evidence. Astrology can be proved using statistical evidence, and if one could do this with a large sample space, it can be classified as a science.
    Now you have set the right tone of approach. We should definitely blame the insincere astrologers, not astrology itself. Your earlier comment did give me an impression you were not in favour of astrology. Given the temperament of people, there will always be ruffled feathers in pursuit and practice of any field of knowledge. We may need to smoothen or leave them, and continue to spread the true knowledge down to the grass roots.

    If demonstration and evidence are the key, even yoga cannot be called a science. And so long as science restricts its limits to the purely physical, it can never hope to be holistic. Today we have holistic medicine that includes allopathy, ayurvedic, homeopathy and unani systems. We have holistic management that considers our scriptures like Bhagavat Gita, Ramayana and Mahabharata as expositions of management techniques at one level of approach. And the world is desperate need of a holistic religion or faith that some gurus are working on.

    Why not a holistic science that combines the key knowledge areas of physical science, occult science, mysticism and philosophy and give us a synthesized knowledge with a holistic worldview? It is not forthcoming, because that kind of approach will take the power out of the scientists and bring the pursuit of scientific knowledge from the lab to the mind. Donald J. DeGracia has written a beautiful e-book titled Beyond the Physical that exposes the limitations of science and calls for a holistic approach. This book can be downloaded at http://www.geocities.com/ddegraci/. Unfortunately, DeGracia came under the influence of his fellow scientists and turned to a purely physical view of dreams and thoughts in his later years, but his first book has something of a masterpiece in it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sudarshan
    Hindu Astrology is based on the law of Karma, and the planets themselves indicate the kArmic patterns at the time of birth, and this works because it was designed so by God. All these external planets are mapped in our subtle and causal bodies - they are the various Yogic AdhArAs, and they are consequently the true indicators of Karma.

    When many astrologers mention that planets send out good and evil rays and interfere with the lives of people, the whole thing begins to look like a fairy tale. We must be careful while dealing with occult topics. Planets dont intefere with anybody - they are mere indicators of Karma.
    Nicely put, this is the correct perspective we need to have.

    Yogananda's guru Sri Yukteswar says:
    "All parts of creation are linked together and interchange their influences. The balanced rhythm of the universe is rooted in reciprocity," my guru continued. "Man, in his human aspect, has to combat two sets of forces-first, the tumults within his being, caused by the admixture of earth, water, fire, air, and ethereal elements; second, the outer disintegrating powers of nature. So long as man struggles with his mortality, he is affected by the myriad mutations of heaven and earth."

    "Astrology is the study of man's response to planetary stimuli. The stars have no conscious benevolence or animosity; they merely send forth positive and negative radiations. Of themselves, these do not help or harm humanity, but offer a lawful channel for the outward operation of cause-effect equilibriums which each man has set into motion in the past."

    "The message boldly blazoned across the heavens at the moment of birth is not meant to emphasize fate-the result of past good and evil-but to arouse man's will to escape from his universal thralldom. What he has done, he can undo. None other than himself was the instigator of the causes of whatever effects are now prevalent in his life. He can overcome any limitation, because he created it by his own actions in the first place, and because he has spiritual resources which are not subject to planetary pressure."

    "Superstitious awe of astrology makes one an automaton, slavishly dependent on mechanical guidance. The wise man defeats his planets--which is to say, his past-by transferring his allegiance from the creation to the Creator. The more he realizes his unity with Spirit, the less he can be dominated by matter. The soul is ever-free; it is deathless because birthless. It cannot be regimented by stars."

    "Man IS a soul, and HAS a body. When he properly places his sense of identity, he leaves behind all compulsive patterns. So long as he remains confused in his ordinary state of spiritual amnesia, he will know the subtle fetters of environmental law."

    "God is harmony; the devotee who attunes himself will never perform any action amiss. His activities will be correctly and naturally timed to accord with astrological law. After deep prayer and meditation he is in touch with his divine consciousness; there is no greater power than that inward protection."

    "Then, dear Master, why do you want me to wear an astrological bangle?" I ventured this question after a long silence, during which I had tried to assimilate Sri Yukteswar's noble exposition.

    "It is only when a traveler has reached his goal that he is justified in discarding his maps. During the journey, he takes advantage of any convenient short cut. The ancient rishis discovered many ways to curtail the period of man's exile in delusion. There are certain mechanical features in the law of karma which can be skillfully adjusted by the fingers of wisdom."

    "Just as a house can be fitted with a copper rod to absorb the shock of lightning, so the bodily temple can be benefited by various protective measures. Ages ago our yogis discovered that pure metals emit an astral light which is powerfully counteractive to negative pulls of the planets. Subtle electrical and magnetic radiations are constantly circulating in the universe; when a man's body is being aided, he does not know it; when it is being disintegrated, he is still in ignorance. Can he do anything about it?"

    "This problem received attention from our rishis; they found helpful not only a combination of metals, but also of plants and-most effective of all-faultless jewels of not less than two carats. The preventive uses of astrology have seldom been seriously studied outside of India. One little-known fact is that the proper jewels, metals, or plant preparations are valueless unless the required weight is secured, and unless these remedial agents are worn next to the skin."
    Thanks for an interesting, ongoing discussion, that lets everyone of us learn and grow.

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    Smile Re: Vedas, Puranas and the Hollow Earth Theory - Part 1 or 3

    Shouldn't Hindus be using the scriptures as philosophical texts rather than geography?
    The Heavens themselves describe the most profound philosophies; the geography of the Earth may be read as a veritable scripture; and every living creature is a sacred text in itself!

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    Post Re: Vedas, Puranas and the Hollow Earth Theory - Part 1 or 3

    Quote Originally Posted by Saidevo

    1. Since heat dissipates why hasn't all the heat at the core and mantle escaped allowing Earth to cool down faster than it is doing? Taking into account the enormous volume of water on and under the surface, and the massive polar ice regions, heat dissipation should take place at a much faster rate.
    The molten core (at about 5,000 deg. C.) is covered by an insulating layer of about 5,000 km of variously solid but progressively cooler and less dense material, largely covered with water (up to 10 km deep) and all of that surrounded by about 100 km of atmosphere. Since the whole system is contained in the vacuum of space, no heat can be lost by physical conduction, only by radiation. And incoming solar radiation is continually adding heat to the system. The whole Earth is assumed to be slowly cooling, but there is no reason to assume that heat dissipation should be occurring at any faster rate. Solid rock and earth and ice and water and air and vacuum all provide excellent insulation.

    Quote Originally Posted by Saidevo

    If the inner heat is sustained by pressure, how exactly does this pressure prevent heat dissipation, since we know that ether or space occupies everywhere (even inside the atoms) as a continuum?
    Physical pressure (and friction) can generate heat, but pressure does not prevent the dissipation of that heat.

    Quote Originally Posted by Saidevo

    2. If the center of gravity of the earth is at its center in the inner core, inasmuch as the solid rocky surface is hardly 1% of its radius (40 miles out of 4,000), and with the earth spinning very fast, why hasn't the crust and lithosphere collapsed to form a more compact shape?
    The solid rocky surface is only a skin of less dense materials floating above the underlying (and increasing dense) material, with the core composed of about 85% iron. The innermost core rotates relatively slowly and it is a solid mass of nickel-iron alloy. The continuous crust is composed mainly of heavy basaltic rock, but even the heaviest rocks will float upon a sea of molten iron!

    Quote Originally Posted by Saidevo

    Since this is not happening, can it be right to say that there is no center of gravity but only a ring of gravity located half way down the solid outer surface (crust and lithosphere)?
    NO! Even if the earth was a hollow sphere with its entire mass concentrated at the margin, the effective center of gravity (from outside) would still be right at the heart ~ but, when experienced at the exact center of the cavity of such a theoretical hollow earth, there would be no gravitational force at all!

    Quote Originally Posted by Saidevo

    3. In the dryer of a washing machine or in a cement-concrete mixture, because of the spin, the contents are thrown towards the rim, leaving a hollow portion inside with openings at the polar regions. Why shouldn't this happen for the Earth also, considering its eternal, tremendous spinning rate?
    Since the Earth has a mass of about 5,974,200,000,000,000,000,000,000 kg, the forces of gravity come into quite noticeable effect ~ and even the biggest washing-machine (fully loaded) could never exert any measurable gravitational force on itself (or anything else)! And if the Earth was also spinning at 1,000 rpm (i.e. 1,000 days and nights passing every minute!) then the outer layers would all be cast off, perhaps leaving only a dense iron core, which would (if it lasted at all) spread out at the equator into more of a disc and cool rather rapidly by direct radiation into space.

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    Re: Vedas, Puranas and the Hollow Earth Theory - Part 1 or 3

    Quote Originally Posted by Sudarshan
    Where is the Sudarshana Dvipa and how is it compatible with the earth? Where are the milk ocean, butter milk ocean etc here? Should we always remain ignorant and reject science?
    Here is what Kanchi Paramacharya says on the subject of oceans and the Meru mountain:
    Not Blind Belief

    "Hindu sastras are all nonsensical," exclaim critics of our religion. "They say that north of the earth is the Meru mountain, that our one year is one day for the celestials residing there, and that the sun revolves round it. They believe that, besides the ocean of salt, there are oceans of sugarcane juice and milk, in fact several kinds of oceans. They describe the earth with its five continents as consisting of seven islands. It is all prattle."

    Why should the ocean be salty? Who put the salt in it? Why should not there have been an ocean tasting sweet or of milk? Is the talk about the seven islands and the seven oceans absurd? What to the sastras say about the position of the earth, the same sastras that speak about the seven ocean, and so on? "Meru is situated on the northern tip of the earth," they state. "Directly opposite to it is the Pole star(Dhruva)."

    The northern tip of the earth is the North pole. Is the Pole star directly opposite to it? No. "Eons ago," scientists explain, "it was so. But later big changes took place and the earth tilted a bit." The sastras refer to a time when the Pole star was directly opposite the North Pole and at that time the seven islands and the seven oceans must have existed. When the rotating earth tilted a bit the oceans must have got mixed and become salty and in the process the seven islands must have become the five continents.

    If there is a place above the North Pole it must be Meru where we have our svarga or paradise. Let us imagine that this earth is a lemon. A spot on its top is the Meru peak. In relation to that spot any other part of the fruit is south. Where can you go from there, east or west? You can go only south. You will learn this if you mark a point on the top of the lemon. For all countries of the earth, for all "varsas", north is Meru. Sarvesamapi varsanam Meruruttaratahsthitah.

    On the North pole it is six months day and six months night. We must have been taught this in our primary classes. It means our one year is one day on the North pole. This is what is meant by saying that our one year is one day for the celestials.

    When the earth rotates, the northernmost and southernmost points are not affected. In some places there will be sun for 18 hours and in other places only for six hours. There are many differences in the durations of day and night with regard to different places on earth. Only on some days does the sun rise directly in the east and is overhead without departing even by one degree. On other days it rises from other angles(from north-east to south-east). Such is not the case on the North pole. There the sun shines six months and the other six months it is darkness. And, again, during the sunny months it would seem as if the sun were revolving round this place(the North pole).

    The six-month period when there is sun in the North Pole is called uttarayana and the similar sunny period on the South Pole is daksinayana.

    The North Pole is called "Sumeru" and the South Pole "Kumeru". ("Sumeria" is from Sumeru. In that land, it is said, the Vedic gods were worshipped.) Just as the North pole is the abode of the gods, the South pole is the abode of the fathers (pitrs) and hell. To see the gods and the pitrs who are in the form of spirits and the denizens of hell one must obtain divine sight through yoga. Merely because we do not possess such sight we cannot deny their existence. There was Blavatsky who was born in Russia, lived in America and later came to India. She speaks about the worlds of the gods and of the spirits. A great scientist of our times, Sir Oliver Lodge, affirmed the existence of spirits and deities and stated that mankind could benefit from them. If you ask why Jyotisa, after dealing with the science of astronomy, should turn to spiritualism, the answer is that there is no contradiction between the two as supported by the example of a scientist like Sir Oliver who too turned to spiritualism.

    Our sastras came into existence at a time when mortals mixed with the gods. We would be able to appreciate this fact if we tried to understand the samkalpa we make at the time of performing any religious function. The samkalpa traces the present from the time of creation itself. From Jyotisa we learn the position of the grahas at the commencement of the yuga: then they were all in a line.

    Some calculations with regard to heavenly bodies today are different from those of the past. And, if the findings at present are not the same as seen in the sastras, it does not mean that the latter are all false. The sastras have existed from the time the grahas were in a line and the North pole was directly opposite the Pole star. Since then vast changes have taken place in nature. Valleys have become mountains, mountains have become oceans, oceans have become deserts and so on. Geologists speak about such cataclysmic changes, and astronomers tell us about the change in the courses of the heavenly bodies. So what we see today of the earth and the heavenly bodies is different from what is mentioned in the sastras.
    ...

    The life-span of the fourteen Manus put together make one day(daytime) of Brahma, that is 4,320,000,000 years. His night has the same length. While one day of Brahma is thus 8,640,000,000 years his one year is 365 such days and his life-span is 100 such years. The life of his cosmos is the same. When Brahma's life comes to an end the Brahman alone will remain and there will be no cosmos. Then another Brahma will start creation all over again. It is believed that Hanuman will be the next Brahma.
    ...

    Scientists say that the heat of the sun is decreasing imperceptibly. Without the warmth of the sun there will be no life on earth. Scientists have calculated the time when the sun's heat will be reduced so much that life on earth cannot be sustained. Then this world itself will perish. The date on which this will occur agrees with that given by our sastras for the next avantara-pralaya (intermediate deluge that happens when Brahma goes to sleep at night).

    (Source: http://www.kamakoti.org/hindudharma/part10/chap8.htm)

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    Re: Vedas, Puranas and the Hollow Earth Theory - Part 1 or 3

    Quote Originally Posted by saidevo
    Namaste Sudarshan,



    Now you have set the right tone of approach. We should definitely blame the insincere astrologers, not astrology itself. Your earlier comment did give me an impression you were not in favour of astrology. Given the temperament of people, there will always be ruffled feathers in pursuit and practice of any field of knowledge. We may need to smoothen or leave them, and continue to spread the true knowledge down to the grass roots.
    Namaste Sai,

    I hope you do realize certain practical issues when dealing with a subject such as Astrology in the modern world? If you take an authority such as varAhamihira, the greatest astrologer/sage the world has ever seen, you will find numerous combinations dealing with (examples)

    1. The combination for a person to become the owner of a horse stable.
    2. The combination to become the king of countries like Magadha , Mala, Saurashtra and so on.

    A good portion of the work deals with the subject of rAjayoga, literally translated as kingly horoscopes. Most of the books and modern writers do very little research ( even the learned ones) and simply use these as such. Do you find any sense in making predictions such as one will be owner of horses in the modern world? That will be applicable only to some people in the military, racemen or some of the erstwhile rulers. And references like countries to Mala and Magadha are simply meaningless since it can be practically verified that people who have these combinations have very little to do with these states, leave alone beome their kings. What would such a combination mean for a European?

    Even learned astrologers of our land indulge in such freewheeling interpretations without regards to context and applicability to the modern world. I have spent a lot of time analysing such passages and have found that they all have only subtle meanings and sometimes literal meanings. The same is true for scripture and the passages dealing with rAhu and ketu - both solar and lunar eclipses are spiritualy significant, and not mythologies. And to be honest, these passages are scientific in nature and actually explain physical eclipses.( if you do know what Atri represents), and that is a long topic by itself.

    The idea is that one should not learn or practice astrology, without
    1. Learning sanskrit.
    2. Several years of research on the texts and their meanings, drawing a lot of material from the veda and the purANas.

    These days people just learn astrology from english translations and come to erroneous conclusions like the above - predicting that a person will become the governer of Calcutta ( king of Magadha) and they dont come true usually. It brings bad name to the subject and its authors.

    Every place and name is associated with many meanings as used in the vedic jargon, and people, whether philosophers or astrologers must learn them thoroughly. If we know the spiritual signficance of the place, its geographical significance, its historic etc, we have a wealth of data to base our conclusions upon. niruktaM serves an excellent guide for this purpose.

    I can give you one such example:

    A particular combination gives that a person having it will be the owner of aSvaH - now boldly translated to "owner of horses" in English in all books on astrology. Needless to say, this wil be incorrect for anybody in the 21st century except some old kingly families. We have to look under the hood to find the proper meanings. You need to research with both the words, context and practical world before you can make sense with such phrases.

    A paryAyA for aSvaH is turagaH, when read as turayA gacchati, is "fast moving", and can be used to represent an automobile, plane etc. In the modern world this must be reinterpreted as a mechanic, pilot, driver, trader of vehicles etc. Astrological texts need considerable scientific reinterpretation of texts, without which they cannot be fully useful nowadays. No point in making predictions such as "you will be the owner of a horse stable". One very learned srIvaiSnavite scholar wrote a full commentary in sanskrit for varAhamihira in the modern context and the commentary included things( based on metre) which were missed by all earlier writers. I have a copy of this rare book, of which only a few copies were ever published by the Adyar library in 1951. In our country, precious gems like these bite the dust without publicity because astrologers still like literal meanings and predict that you will be minister of Calcutta( or ignore the utility of such passages as outdated and that means half the text is valueless), without understanding what magadha is and so on..
    Guard your Dharma, Burn the Myth, Promote the Truth, Crush the superstition.

  8. #18
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    Re: Vedas, Puranas and the Hollow Earth Theory - Part 1 or 3

    Namaste Sudarshan,

    I mostly understand and fully appreciate the points you have so painstakingly illustrated. I think, in summary, most of us here would broadly agree on certain perspectives:

    1. That the theories of today's science, specially with regard to the origin of the universe and quantum mechanics, are diverse and often do not agree with each other. At best, we can take them for glorified hypotheses.

    2. That science has severe limitations in its search for the Smaller Truths and the Ultimate Truth, since its area of activity is purely physical.

    3. Vedas, Puranas and other Hindu ancient texts do give us a holistic view of the universe, its author and subjects, and the life of dharma we as humans need to follow.

    4. The places, persons and episodes mentioned in our Puranas are not necessarily myth. They might have (and perhaps did) happen at that point of time and place on the earth and other worlds. We do need to seriously research them, along with Vedas and other texts, and arrive at modern perspectives that may be highly relevant today, instead of dismissing them as useless myths and stories.

    5. The knowledge revealed in the Hindu Sciences (jyotisha, ayurveda, dhanur veda, gandhavar veda and artha shastra plus other ancient texts) was the result of highly disciplined and truly scientific pursuits that today's orthodox science boasts of. They could be superior since they give us a holistic view and give us solutions for a harmonious life.

    6. Most Hindus are not aware of even the fundamentals of our shastras and sciences, and do not recognize the pioneers of research and practice in these fields. This kind of ignorance leads us to believe the quacks and cheaters, specially in fields like jyotisha, and reward them with our time, money and popularity.

    7. The more knowledgeable among us should find time to consolidate and compile the Hindu spiritual knowledge and present them in modern ways and help the ignorant progress spiritually and know the values of Sanatana Dharma.

    This forum has a good compilation of such knowledge, scattered under several threads. I would request Satay and other professional people to weed out the irrelevant parts and recompile them under suitable topics and preserve them in Archives for further study and research.

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    Re: Vedas, Puranas and the Hollow Earth Theory - Part 1 or 3

    Quote Originally Posted by saidevo
    Here is what Kanchi Paramacharya says on the subject of oceans and the Meru mountain:
    Hmm, so Meru is at the north pole and 84,000 yojanas in height and Brahma sits at the top, and we cant see them because of our limited faculties?

    So that means conceding that Brahma is part of this material universe or the milky way? They are probably better understood as belonging to another dimension( time actually because all perception is essentially Time, which is an aspect of God), which might incidentally intersect our own perception. What do you think of the fact that the mountain has a height of 84,000 yojanas~ 700,000 miles, which is just a further away from the moon? Is that also literal? Or myth?

    Beings like pitris and devas have more perception than humans, and have access to more dimensions of awareness, which we can get through Yoga. The supreme God is infinite in nature, and is infinite dimensioned, and is percievable only through the Atman. The scripture cannot explain anything beyond our normal material perception, and we should not interpret these purANic descriptions as literal facts, because how these worlds look like is not describable in words to those still bound by their material facultes. It is just like describing how a beuatiful scenery looks like to a born blind man - he cannot imagine anything that will be similar to what you actually describe. At the same time, they are not fairy tales, because they contain subtle facts, meant to be understood in a limited sense.
    Guard your Dharma, Burn the Myth, Promote the Truth, Crush the superstition.

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    Re: Vedas, Puranas and the Hollow Earth Theory - Part 1 or 3

    Quote Originally Posted by saidevo
    1. That the theories of today's science, specially with regard to the origin of the universe and quantum mechanics, are diverse and often do not agree with each other. At best, we can take them for glorified hypotheses.

    2. That science has severe limitations in its search for the Smaller Truths and the Ultimate Truth, since its area of activity is purely physical.
    Yes, there is absolutely no evidence for any scientific theories with regards to life and universe. The moment science declared that matter created life through a random process of negligible probabilities, it can be dismissed as a superstition. Scientists, especially astronomers and some biologists can be classified as extremely supersitious people, far worse that an average villager.



    Quote Originally Posted by saidevo
    3. Vedas, Puranas and other Hindu ancient texts do give us a holistic view of the universe, its author and subjects, and the life of dharma we as humans need to follow.
    The message of scripture is essentially this: - Lord Vishnu became manyfold due to a motiveless desire born only of divya guNa(sattva), also known as sport. Brahma was born in this process. Brahma's desire was three fold, arising out of three guNas of sattva, rajas and tamas, gave birth to Manus, Prajapatis, rishis and devas and so on. The desires of devas gave birth to lower intelligence, and finally humans, animals and still lower forms. All creation accounts essentially deal with this process of evolution that has brought about the bondage caused by desire at various levels. The goal of scripture is to lead you out of this maze of desire, by a process called involution, where you retrace from a man, a pitri, a deva and so on, until you are back with Brahman. If the scripture were so much interested in describing this universe, you will find many more verifiable claims - it would have mentioned about uranus, pluto, about stellar systems, neutron stars, black holes and so forth, and it is conscpicuosly silent on any of these things. Infact, the Hindu scripture does not even recognize a star as a sun - simply because the naxatra used in astrology is not the star in the sky, but a more spiritual concept.

    To people who think that Hindu sages were aware of stars millions of light years away which cannot be verified, what is the answer for not mentioning about planets and moons in our own stellar system when they were very interested in astrology? Because the sages in touch with eternity did not bother with such silly stuff. They have dealt only with metaphysical truths which lead to eternal bliss. In the process, they have given some proof to others to take them seriously - nADi grantha is one such; Astrology is one such; BhaviSya purANa is one such - but we must be careful while dealing with them. But the only collective goal of all scriptures is to teach the process of Yoga of several kinds, that leads to Brahman by involution.

    In this regard, they have also factored out people of every nature and stage of advancement and numerous theories exist to address every soul. They have mentioned about atIndriya padArtAs like dharma, adharma, karma, svarga, naraka, moxa etc, which cannot be known by perception. The talk of dharma and adharma bring us to worldly topics, and hence the scripture also deals with material things wherever it is necessary. They talk about verifiable science only under certain conditions.

    Quote Originally Posted by saidevo
    4. The places, persons and episodes mentioned in our Puranas are not necessarily myth. They might have (and perhaps did) happen at that point of time and place on the earth and other worlds. We do need to seriously research them, along with Vedas and other texts, and arrive at modern perspectives that may be highly relevant today, instead of dismissing them as useless myths and stories.
    There is no "useless" myth in the scripture while it is true that not all scripture is authentic and maybe fabrications. They maybe historical or technical based on many factors. The biggest question you have to answer is why vedic scripture is only interested in the land called Bharat. Why all auspicious incarnations and events are related only to India? Is Sanatana Dharma only for Hindus or is it for the whole universe? You might want to compare this with Judaism which deals only with Israel and Jews being chosen people. Is it true that Sanatana Dharma is also limited in scope? Shouldn't Lord Vishnu incarnate all over the world and serve all people? Why these incarnations outside India are not recorded in the purANas?

    Anyone who has read these following dramas will immediately reognize( a small sample), it is very common for philosophers to compose allegorical dramas based on history and stories.

    1. naishadam by Sri Harsha
    2. samkalpasUryodayA by Vedanta Desika
    3. padmAvat by the Sufi Saint Malik Muhammed

    All these are philosophical treatises using historical and geographical ideas.

    Quote Originally Posted by saidevo
    5. The knowledge revealed in the Hindu Sciences (jyotisha, ayurveda, dhanur veda, gandhavar veda and artha shastra plus other ancient texts) was the result of highly disciplined and truly scientific pursuits that today's orthodox science boasts of. They could be superior since they give us a holistic view and give us solutions for a harmonious life.
    Agreed!

    Quote Originally Posted by saidevo
    6. Most Hindus are not aware of even the fundamentals of our shastras and sciences, and do not recognize the pioneers of research and practice in these fields. This kind of ignorance leads us to believe the quacks and cheaters, specially in fields like jyotisha, and reward them with our time, money and popularity.
    The irony is even the learned pandits do not want to break the shackles of dogma brought about by thousands of years, sometimes due to fear of rejection. There have been vedantins who criticized Aryabhatta because Aryabhata said that earth had rotation( bhUbRahmaNa vAdam) because this was against the vedas. Do the vedas really say this or was it his misinterpretation? varAhamihira dismissed the rAhu theory as unscientific( at a time when such a belief was widespread) and fought against the male chauvenists of his times by fighting for women freedom. Culture and social dogmas go a long way in influencing the religion.
    Guard your Dharma, Burn the Myth, Promote the Truth, Crush the superstition.

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