10 Benefits of waking up early


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Fun & Info @ Keralites.net

Early to bed and early to rise makes you healthy, wealthy as well as wise. And that is not merely an age-old saying. It works in daily life too. Read on to know how.

1. Time to Exercise
Waking up early gives you the time to exercise. You can easily go for a jog, do a few laps in the pool, practice yoga or hit the gym with plenty of time at hand.

2. Time to Meditate
There is nothing like beginning the day with a dose of meditation. It will help calm your mind and sharpen your reflexes to keep you going through your busy schedule of work.

3. Experience the Charm of Early Morning
Only an early morning person knows the charm and serenity that those hours offer. The silence, the birds chirping, the absence of cars honking, and the sunrise are all advantages only early rising can offer.

4. Increase Productivity and Efficiency
A study conducted at the Texas University in 2008 revealed that early risers are more prone to be productive and efficient at work. In fact, students who wake up early are known to get higher grades than those who wake up late.

5. Eating Breakfast
Breakfast is known to be the most important meal of the day. Often, you may land up skipping it if you are running late for work. An early start to the day ensures that this significant meal is never given the slip.

6. Less Stress
Giving you ample time to get ready on time, waking up early ensures that you suffer less stress. Beat the traffic and drive to work at ease.

7. Set Routine
Once you get into the habit of rising early, you are able to set a routine and that obviously leads to better productivity not only at work, but also on the home front and as an individual.

8. Brighter Mood
Early risers are known to be happier and more optimistic than night owls. The latter are known to suffer depression, insomnia and pessimism. The bright start with exercise and optimism is bound to keep you feeling energised and optimistic all day.

9. Better Health
Proper routine and exercise are known factors in ensuring better health in the long run. Waking up early ensures you set aside time to work out. Late risers lack the advantage of time for this.

10. Better Finances
Improved health, enhanced productivity and ameliorated energy can only result in one thing a higher rate of success. And when this happens in your career, can financial triumph be far behind? So, rise early to kickstart a really great way of doing well in the professional sphere as well.

The benefits of waking up early are myriad. It doesn’t take much to change your lifestyle to avail these benefits. After all, personal and professional well-being, and ultimate success are what everyone seeks. So, why not adopt a healthier way of living and reap those benefits?

— 

Fun & Info @ Keralites.netFun & Info @ Keralites.net


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Benefits of early rising



Fun & Info @ Keralites.net
 

Early to bed and early to rise makes you healthy, wealthy as well as wise. And that is not merely an age-old saying. It works in daily life too. Read on to know how.

1. Time to Exercise
Waking up early gives you the time to exercise. You can easily go for a jog, do a few laps in the pool, practice yoga or hit the gym with plenty of time at hand.

2. Time to Meditate
There is nothing like beginning the day with a dose of meditation. It will help calm your mind and sharpen your reflexes to keep you going through your busy schedule of work.

3. Experience the Charm of Early Morning
Only an early morning person knows the charm and serenity that those hours offer. The silence, the birds chirping, the absence of cars honking, and the sunrise are all advantages only early rising can offer.

4. Increase Productivity and Efficiency
A study conducted at the Texas University in 2008 revealed that early risers are more prone to be productive and efficient at work. In fact, students who wake up early are known to get higher grades than those who wake up late.

5. Eating Breakfast
Breakfast is known to be the most important meal of the day. Often, you may land up skipping it if you are running late for work. An early start to the day ensures that this significant meal is never given the slip.

6. Less Stress
Giving you ample time to get ready on time, waking up early ensures that you suffer less stress. Beat the traffic and drive to work at ease.

7. Set Routine
Once you get into the habit of rising early, you are able to set a routine and that obviously leads to better productivity not only at work, but also on the home front and as an individual.

8. Brighter Mood
Early risers are known to be happier and more optimistic than night owls. The latter are known to suffer depression, insomnia and pessimism. The bright start with exercise and optimism is bound to keep you feeling energised and optimistic all day.

9. Better Health
Proper routine and exercise are known factors in ensuring better health in the long run. Waking up early ensures you set aside time to work out. Late risers lack the advantage of time for this.

10. Better Finances
Improved health, enhanced productivity and ameliorated energy can only result in one thing a higher rate of success. And when this happens in your career, can financial triumph be far behind? So, rise early to kickstart a really great way of doing well in the professional sphere as well.

The benefits of waking up early are myriad. It doesn’t take much to change your lifestyle to avail these benefits. After all, personal and professional well-being, and ultimate success are what everyone seeks. So, why not adopt a healthier way of living and reap those benefits?

 

— 

 
 
Fun & Info @ Keralites.netFun & Info @ Keralites.net

Politician


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It just hit me! My dog sleeps about 20 hours a day.
He has his food prepared for him.
His meals are provided at no cost to him.
He visits the Dr. once a year for his checkup, and again during the year, if any medical needs arise.
For this he pays nothing, and nothing is required of him.
He lives in a nice neighborhood in a house that is much larger than he needs, but he is not required to do any upkeep.
If he makes a mess, someone else cleans it up.
He has his choice of luxurious places to sleep.
He receives these accommodations absolutely free.
He is living like a king, and has absolutely no expenses whatsoever.
All of his costs are picked up by others who earn a living.
 
I was just thinking about all this, and suddenly it hit me like a brick………..My dog is a Politician!


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Nalam Tharum Mooligai: Villvum herb


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politician


It just hit me! My dog sleeps about 20 hours a day.

He has his food prepared for him.
His meals are provided at no cost to him.
He visits the Dr. once a year for his checkup, and again during the year, if any medical needs arise.
For this he pays nothing, and nothing is required of him.
He lives in a nice neighborhood in a house that is much larger than he needs, but he is not required to do any upkeep.
If he makes a mess, someone else cleans it up.
He has his choice of luxurious places to sleep.
He receives these accommodations absolutely free.
He is living like a king, and has absolutely no expenses whatsoever.
All of his costs are picked up by others who earn a living.
 
I was just thinking about all this, and suddenly it hit me like a brick………..My dog is a Politician!

Vegetarian


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Across the globe, with increasing number of people opting to be vegetarians, 
Colin Todhunter wonders if vegetarianism is just a passing fad, a trend, or if it actually benefits our health and environment.
In many parts of the world, tucking into a succulent morsel of meat is one of life’s greatest pleasures. And the more affluent a person is, the more likely it is they will eat more meat. But a trend suggests a move away from meat eating is gaining momentum, and it’s not just because of the cruelty involved in its production or the various well-documented health risks associated with eating red meat. It’s because the modern method of meat production is a major contributory factor in global warming and environmental degradation.

When global warming is mentioned, most people envisage oil refineries, coal-fired powered plants, cars or smoke belching factories wreaking havoc with the planet. But livestock is responsible for 18 per cent of greenhouse gases, more than cars, planes and all other forms of transport put together, according to the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organisation.

It could well be the case that going vegetarian may be the easiest and quickest way to lower your carbon footprint, reduce pollution, and save energy and water. Dr Rajendra Pachauri, chair of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, certainly thinks so. He is an Indian economist and says that reducing or cutting out meat entirely is one of the most important personal choices we can make to address climate change.

While vegetarianism in some countries was once regarded as a fad or a luxury, Dr Pachauri implies it is fast becoming a necessity.

Environmental impact­

The amount of meat humans eat is immense. In 1965, 10 billion livestock animals were slaughtered each year. Today, that number is 55 billion. More chickens are killed in the US every year than there are people in the world, and there are one billion cattle alive, weighing twice as much as the human population.

All that livestock needs land, which places pressure on wildlife habitat and forest. Livestock is the world’s largest land user. Grazing occupies 26 per cent of the earth’s ice-free terrestrial surface, and feed crop production uses about one third of all arable land.

And what about all that manure? In traditional, sustainable systems of agriculture, manure is part of a holistic cycle: it’s fertiliser. But in modern agriculture, this waste is not cycled through the farm because there’s just too much of it. Instead, waste is stored in manure “lagoons,” which emit methane and, even worse, nitrous oxide.
Meat production requires staggering amounts of land, water, and energy, as compared to plant foods. A 2010 UN report explained that western-type dietary preferences for meat would be unsustainable in future, given that the world population is forecast to rise to 9.1 billion by 2050. Demand for meat is expected to double by this date, and meat consumption is already steadily rising in countries such as China, which once followed more sustainable, vegetable-based diets.

A person existing mainly on animal protein requires ten times more land to provide adequate food than someone living on vegetable sources of protein. Far more energy is put into animals per unit of food than for any plant crop because cattle consume 16 times as much grain as they produce as meat. It takes 16 pounds of grain to make one pound of beef.

Animal farms use nearly 40 per cent of the world’s total grain production. In the US, nearly 70 per cent of grain production is fed to livestock. If humans continue to eat more and more meat, it means we’re not just going to use far more land and water, but we’re also going to manufacture much more chemical fertilisers and pesticides. We will thus be creating far more pollution and greenhouse gases.

Modern farming (both meat and non-meat production) is heavily dependent on chemicals, which leads to the emission of the major greenhouses gases: carbon dioxide from the use of fossil fuels for machinery and to produce the chemicals needed, nitrogen oxide (300 times more potent than carbon dioxide) from the use of chemical fertilisers and methane (animal flatulence) from factory farming.

It has been estimated that livestock contribute to about 9 per cent of total human related carbon dioxide emissions, 37 per cent of methane emissions and 65 per cent of nitrous oxide emissions. This includes carbon dioxide emission from deforestation in Central and South America, attributed to livestock production.

Factor in that a gallon of gasoline is used to produce a mere pound of grain-fed beef, and you begin to appreciate that meat production is a very fossil fuel, resource-intensive industry.

According to the Food and Agriculture Organisation, “Ranching-induced deforestation is one of the main causes of loss of some unique plant and animal species in the tropical rainforests of Central and South America as well as carbon release in the atmosphere.”

A 2010 report from the United Nations Environment Programme’s International Panel of Sustainable Resource Management declared: “Impacts from agriculture are expected to increase substantially due to population growth and increasing consumption of animal products… A substantial reduction of impacts would only be possible with a substantial worldwide diet change, away from animal products.”
Environmental vegetarians are calling for a reduction of the consumption of meat in the ‘developed’ world. According to the United Nations Population Fund, “Each US citizen consumes an average of 260 pounds of meat per year, the world’s highest rate. That is about 1.5 times the industrial world average, three times the East Asian average, and 40 times the average in Bangladesh.”

Scientists at Cornell University have advised that the US could feed 800 million people with the grain that livestock eat.

Water-intensive meat


Meat production also places a great strain on fresh water, which is likely to become an increasingly scarce resource in the coming years. John Anthony Allan, professor at the University of London’s School of Oriental and African Studies, argues that the average meat-eating US citizen consumes five cubic meters of water compared to half of that which vegetarians consume. But not all meat is equally water-intensive.

He says that beef requires 15,500 litres of water per kilogram compared to chicken, which needs 3,900 litres per kilogram. So, at the very least, consumers could think about reducing their beef consumption since it requires the most unsustainable water footprint.

In her book, Stolen Harvests, environmentalist Vandana Shiva says that for every pound of red meat, poultry, eggs and milk produced, farm fields lose about five pounds of irreplaceable top soil. She also states that the water necessary for meat breeding comes to about 190 gallons per animal per day, or ten times what a normal Indian family is supposed to use in one day, if it gets water at all.

The great Ogallala aquifer in the US is the largest body of fresh water on earth. The water in it is left from the melted glaciers of the last Ice Age. It is not replenished from rainfall. Author John Robbins notes that more than 13 trillion gallons of water are taken from the aquifer every year. More water is withdrawn from the Ogallala aquifer every year for beef production than is used to grow all the fruits and vegetables in the entire US. Robbins states that it’s only a matter of time before most of the wells in Kansas, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Colorado and New Mexico go dry, and portions of these states become scarcely habitable for human beings.
This is a salutary reminder of what other countries may face in future if their meat consumption increases dramatically.

Animal welfare


Of course, other arguments against eating meat or using animal products have been around for a long time, well before global warming and climate change appeared on the scene. Various religious and philosophical traditions believe that humans should not kill, maim, torture or exploit fellow beings for food or other purposes.

But kill, maim, torture and exploit we do. Take chickens as just one example from the many that we could take. For the past half century, there have actually been two kinds of chickens — broilers and layers. They have different bodies, engineered for different ‘functions.’ Layers make eggs and broilers make flesh. Over the past 50 years, they have been engineered to grow more than twice as large in less than half the time. Chickens once had a life expectancy of 15 to 20 years, but the modern broiler is typically killed at around six weeks. Their daily growth rate has increased roughly by 400 per cent.

All male layers in the US, comprising more than 250 million chicks a year, are destroyed. Most are destroyed by being sucked through a series of pipes onto an electrified plate. Some are tossed into large plastic containers. The weak are trampled to the bottom, where they suffocate slowly. The strong suffocate slowly at the top. Others are also sent fully conscious through macerators.

So, if global warming isn’t enough to make people think twice about going vegetarian or reducing their meat consumption, the cruelty we inflict on other species may well do.

In many respects, thanks to its various traditions, India has a definite head start when it comes to not eating meat. This is just as well considering 17 per cent of the global population live here on a mere two to three per cent of the planet’s land, and the country is already facing water shortage issues and dwindling wildlife habitat.

According to a 2006 State of the Nation Survey, 31 per cent of Indians are vegetarians, while another nine per cent consumes eggs. India also has a system of marking edible products made from only vegetarian (non-animal) ingredients, with a green dot in a green square.

Going ‘organic’


But let’s not get too carried away and place all our focus on meat production. The heavy dependence on fossil energy suggests that the modern food system, whether meat-based or plant-based, is generally bad for the environment.

During the last century, a radical shift took place in the world’s food system. We went from a sustainably based, localised food production to a fossil-fuel addicted industrialised system. In fact, agriculture has changed more in the past two generations than it did in the previous 12,000 years. Almost every aspect of the modern industrial agriculture creates greenhouse gas emissions.

Author James E McWilliams suggests that many people recognise this impact and have turned to meat, dairy and eggs from non-industrial sources. The last decade has seen a surge in grass-fed, free-range, cage-free options. These alternatives typically come from small organic farms which practice more humane methods of production and at least appear to be more in harmony with nature.

While Vandana Shiva notes the hugely negative environmental impact of modern meat production, she elucidates further by arguing that it is modern agricultural practices per se that must change. In this respect, the issue goes far beyond meat consumption and selecting a happy-smiley veggie meal at McDonalds or from the supermarket fast-food freezer in the belief that we are doing ourselves and the planet some good.

Consider the fact that the next time you eat a meal of rice and vegetables, you could be taking in more than 40 times the amount of pesticides that an average North American person would consume for a similar meal. India is one of the world’s largest users of pesticides. Lady’s finger, cabbage, tomato and cauliflower in particular may contain dangerously high levels and fruits and vegetables are sprayed and tampered with to ripen and make them more colourful. Research by the School of Natural Sciences and Engineering at the National Institute of Advanced Studies in Bangalore reported in 2008 that many crops for export had been rejected internationally due to high pesticide residues.

Shiva argues that this type of intensive chemical-industrial agriculture, with its reliance on vast amounts of fresh water, fertilisers, pesticides and the like, is destroying biodiversity and contributing towards climate change, not just in India but worldwide. It might have increased food production in the relative short term, but it has been at a terrible cost to the environment and is ultimately unsustainable.
Modern industrial farms rely on fossil fuels, from powering machinery to petroleum-based chemicals used to create artificial soil fertility, protect against pests and stave off weeds. It is this use of fossil fuels on farms and the manufacture of fertilisers and other agricultural chemicals that negatively impact the environment. For Shiva, the answer is to return to basics by encouraging biodiverse, organic, local food systems.

She argues that small, biodiverse, organic farms, especially in less developed countries, are totally fossil fuel-free. Energy for farming operations comes from animal energy and not machinery or the fertilisers manufactured down at the local polluting chemical factory, and soil fertility is built by feeding soil organisms via recycling organic matter.

Making the required shift away from modern farming practices could be a lot easier said than done, however. Huge, politically connected and often extremely unscrupulous agribusiness concerns involved in fertiliser, pesticide and seed manufacturing (and let’s not forget the genetically modified sector) have a lot invested in maintaining the current, highly profitable system.

In finishing, let us end where we began — with meat. Author James E McWilliams raises the all-important ethical issue by saying that it’s not how we produce animal products that ultimately matters, it’s whether we produce them at all.

The dilemma he raises leads to some deep seated questions about how we as individuals personally regard our mass slaughter and wholesale exploitation of the living creatures we share this planet with. Even if our consciences can continue to live with this, the evidence is that, in the long run, the planet certainly can’t.

an article from Deccan Herald

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Vegetarian



Across the globe, with increasing number of people opting to be vegetarians, 
Colin Todhunter wonders if vegetarianism is just a passing fad, a trend, or if it actually benefits our health and environment.

In many parts of the world, tucking into a succulent morsel of meat is one of life’s greatest pleasures. And the more affluent a person is, the more likely it is they will eat more meat. But a trend suggests a move away from meat eating is gaining momentum, and it’s not just because of the cruelty involved in its production or the various well-documented health risks associated with eating red meat. It’s because the modern method of meat production is a major contributory factor in global warming and environmental degradation.

When global warming is mentioned, most people envisage oil refineries, coal-fired powered plants, cars or smoke belching factories wreaking havoc with the planet. But livestock is responsible for 18 per cent of greenhouse gases, more than cars, planes and all other forms of transport put together, according to the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organisation.

It could well be the case that going vegetarian may be the easiest and quickest way to lower your carbon footprint, reduce pollution, and save energy and water. Dr Rajendra Pachauri, chair of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, certainly thinks so. He is an Indian economist and says that reducing or cutting out meat entirely is one of the most important personal choices we can make to address climate change.

While vegetarianism in some countries was once regarded as a fad or a luxury, Dr Pachauri implies it is fast becoming a necessity.

Environmental impact­

The amount of meat humans eat is immense. In 1965, 10 billion livestock animals were slaughtered each year. Today, that number is 55 billion. More chickens are killed in the US every year than there are people in the world, and there are one billion cattle alive, weighing twice as much as the human population.

All that livestock needs land, which places pressure on wildlife habitat and forest. Livestock is the world’s largest land user. Grazing occupies 26 per cent of the earth’s ice-free terrestrial surface, and feed crop production uses about one third of all arable land.

And what about all that manure? In traditional, sustainable systems of agriculture, manure is part of a holistic cycle: it’s fertiliser. But in modern agriculture, this waste is not cycled through the farm because there’s just too much of it. Instead, waste is stored in manure “lagoons,” which emit methane and, even worse, nitrous oxide.
Meat production requires staggering amounts of land, water, and energy, as compared to plant foods. A 2010 UN report explained that western-type dietary preferences for meat would be unsustainable in future, given that the world population is forecast to rise to 9.1 billion by 2050. Demand for meat is expected to double by this date, and meat consumption is already steadily rising in countries such as China, which once followed more sustainable, vegetable-based diets.

A person existing mainly on animal protein requires ten times more land to provide adequate food than someone living on vegetable sources of protein. Far more energy is put into animals per unit of food than for any plant crop because cattle consume 16 times as much grain as they produce as meat. It takes 16 pounds of grain to make one pound of beef.

Animal farms use nearly 40 per cent of the world’s total grain production. In the US, nearly 70 per cent of grain production is fed to livestock. If humans continue to eat more and more meat, it means we’re not just going to use far more land and water, but we’re also going to manufacture much more chemical fertilisers and pesticides. We will thus be creating far more pollution and greenhouse gases.

Modern farming (both meat and non-meat production) is heavily dependent on chemicals, which leads to the emission of the major greenhouses gases: carbon dioxide from the use of fossil fuels for machinery and to produce the chemicals needed, nitrogen oxide (300 times more potent than carbon dioxide) from the use of chemical fertilisers and methane (animal flatulence) from factory farming.

It has been estimated that livestock contribute to about 9 per cent of total human related carbon dioxide emissions, 37 per cent of methane emissions and 65 per cent of nitrous oxide emissions. This includes carbon dioxide emission from deforestation in Central and South America, attributed to livestock production.

Factor in that a gallon of gasoline is used to produce a mere pound of grain-fed beef, and you begin to appreciate that meat production is a very fossil fuel, resource-intensive industry.

According to the Food and Agriculture Organisation, “Ranching-induced deforestation is one of the main causes of loss of some unique plant and animal species in the tropical rainforests of Central and South America as well as carbon release in the atmosphere.”

A 2010 report from the United Nations Environment Programme’s International Panel of Sustainable Resource Management declared: “Impacts from agriculture are expected to increase substantially due to population growth and increasing consumption of animal products… A substantial reduction of impacts would only be possible with a substantial worldwide diet change, away from animal products.”
Environmental vegetarians are calling for a reduction of the consumption of meat in the ‘developed’ world. According to the United Nations Population Fund, “Each US citizen consumes an average of 260 pounds of meat per year, the world’s highest rate. That is about 1.5 times the industrial world average, three times the East Asian average, and 40 times the average in Bangladesh.”

Scientists at Cornell University have advised that the US could feed 800 million people with the grain that livestock eat.

Water-intensive meat

Meat production also places a great strain on fresh water, which is likely to become an increasingly scarce resource in the coming years. John Anthony Allan, professor at the University of London’s School of Oriental and African Studies, argues that the average meat-eating US citizen consumes five cubic meters of water compared to half of that which vegetarians consume. But not all meat is equally water-intensive.

He says that beef requires 15,500 litres of water per kilogram compared to chicken, which needs 3,900 litres per kilogram. So, at the very least, consumers could think about reducing their beef consumption since it requires the most unsustainable water footprint.

In her book, Stolen Harvests, environmentalist Vandana Shiva says that for every pound of red meat, poultry, eggs and milk produced, farm fields lose about five pounds of irreplaceable top soil. She also states that the water necessary for meat breeding comes to about 190 gallons per animal per day, or ten times what a normal Indian family is supposed to use in one day, if it gets water at all.

The great Ogallala aquifer in the US is the largest body of fresh water on earth. The water in it is left from the melted glaciers of the last Ice Age. It is not replenished from rainfall. Author John Robbins notes that more than 13 trillion gallons of water are taken from the aquifer every year. More water is withdrawn from the Ogallala aquifer every year for beef production than is used to grow all the fruits and vegetables in the entire US. Robbins states that it’s only a matter of time before most of the wells in Kansas, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Colorado and New Mexico go dry, and portions of these states become scarcely habitable for human beings.
This is a salutary reminder of what other countries may face in future if their meat consumption increases dramatically.

Animal welfare

Of course, other arguments against eating meat or using animal products have been around for a long time, well before global warming and climate change appeared on the scene. Various religious and philosophical traditions believe that humans should not kill, maim, torture or exploit fellow beings for food or other purposes.

But kill, maim, torture and exploit we do. Take chickens as just one example from the many that we could take. For the past half century, there have actually been two kinds of chickens — broilers and layers. They have different bodies, engineered for different ‘functions.’ Layers make eggs and broilers make flesh. Over the past 50 years, they have been engineered to grow more than twice as large in less than half the time. Chickens once had a life expectancy of 15 to 20 years, but the modern broiler is typically killed at around six weeks. Their daily growth rate has increased roughly by 400 per cent.

All male layers in the US, comprising more than 250 million chicks a year, are destroyed. Most are destroyed by being sucked through a series of pipes onto an electrified plate. Some are tossed into large plastic containers. The weak are trampled to the bottom, where they suffocate slowly. The strong suffocate slowly at the top. Others are also sent fully conscious through macerators.

So, if global warming isn’t enough to make people think twice about going vegetarian or reducing their meat consumption, the cruelty we inflict on other species may well do.

In many respects, thanks to its various traditions, India has a definite head start when it comes to not eating meat. This is just as well considering 17 per cent of the global population live here on a mere two to three per cent of the planet’s land, and the country is already facing water shortage issues and dwindling wildlife habitat.

According to a 2006 State of the Nation Survey, 31 per cent of Indians are vegetarians, while another nine per cent consumes eggs. India also has a system of marking edible products made from only vegetarian (non-animal) ingredients, with a green dot in a green square.

Going ‘organic’

But let’s not get too carried away and place all our focus on meat production. The heavy dependence on fossil energy suggests that the modern food system, whether meat-based or plant-based, is generally bad for the environment.

During the last century, a radical shift took place in the world’s food system. We went from a sustainably based, localised food production to a fossil-fuel addicted industrialised system. In fact, agriculture has changed more in the past two generations than it did in the previous 12,000 years. Almost every aspect of the modern industrial agriculture creates greenhouse gas emissions.

Author James E McWilliams suggests that many people recognise this impact and have turned to meat, dairy and eggs from non-industrial sources. The last decade has seen a surge in grass-fed, free-range, cage-free options. These alternatives typically come from small organic farms which practice more humane methods of production and at least appear to be more in harmony with nature.

While Vandana Shiva notes the hugely negative environmental impact of modern meat production, she elucidates further by arguing that it is modern agricultural practices per se that must change. In this respect, the issue goes far beyond meat consumption and selecting a happy-smiley veggie meal at McDonalds or from the supermarket fast-food freezer in the belief that we are doing ourselves and the planet some good.

Consider the fact that the next time you eat a meal of rice and vegetables, you could be taking in more than 40 times the amount of pesticides that an average North American person would consume for a similar meal. India is one of the world’s largest users of pesticides. Lady’s finger, cabbage, tomato and cauliflower in particular may contain dangerously high levels and fruits and vegetables are sprayed and tampered with to ripen and make them more colourful. Research by the School of Natural Sciences and Engineering at the National Institute of Advanced Studies in Bangalore reported in 2008 that many crops for export had been rejected internationally due to high pesticide residues.

Shiva argues that this type of intensive chemical-industrial agriculture, with its reliance on vast amounts of fresh water, fertilisers, pesticides and the like, is destroying biodiversity and contributing towards climate change, not just in India but worldwide. It might have increased food production in the relative short term, but it has been at a terrible cost to the environment and is ultimately unsustainable.
Modern industrial farms rely on fossil fuels, from powering machinery to petroleum-based chemicals used to create artificial soil fertility, protect against pests and stave off weeds. It is this use of fossil fuels on farms and the manufacture of fertilisers and other agricultural chemicals that negatively impact the environment. For Shiva, the answer is to return to basics by encouraging biodiverse, organic, local food systems.

She argues that small, biodiverse, organic farms, especially in less developed countries, are totally fossil fuel-free. Energy for farming operations comes from animal energy and not machinery or the fertilisers manufactured down at the local polluting chemical factory, and soil fertility is built by feeding soil organisms via recycling organic matter.

Making the required shift away from modern farming practices could be a lot easier said than done, however. Huge, politically connected and often extremely unscrupulous agribusiness concerns involved in fertiliser, pesticide and seed manufacturing (and let’s not forget the genetically modified sector) have a lot invested in maintaining the current, highly profitable system.

In finishing, let us end where we began — with meat. Author James E McWilliams raises the all-important ethical issue by saying that it’s not how we produce animal products that ultimately matters, it’s whether we produce them at all.

The dilemma he raises leads to some deep seated questions about how we as individuals personally regard our mass slaughter and wholesale exploitation of the living creatures we share this planet with. Even if our consciences can continue to live with this, the evidence is that, in the long run, the planet certainly can’t.

 an article in Deccan Herald

Greatness of India


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THE GREATNESS OF ANCIENT INDIA’S DEVELOPMENTS
(Excerpt from “Advancements of Ancient India’s Vedic Culture”)
By Stephen Knapp

When we talk about the planet’s earliest civilization, we are talking about the world’s earliest sophisticated society after the last ice age. This means that according to the Vedic time tables, various forms of civilization have been existing for millions of years. But the first record of an organized and developed society was the Vedic culture that arose in ancient India with the Indus Sarasvati civilization, and then spread out from there in all directions around the world.
Often times we see that students, even in India’s academic system, have not studied or encountered the contributions that were made by early civilization in the area of ancient India. Not only are they not aware of such developments that had been given from India, but there is often a lack of such knowledge to be studied. Therefore, this book is to help fill that gap of information and to show how this area of the world, indeed, had a most advanced civilization, but was also where many of society’s advancements originated.
It can be found that what became the area of India and its Vedic culture was way ahead of its time. This can be noticed in such things as industry, metallurgy, science, textiles, medicine, surgery, mathematics, and, of course, philosophy and spirituality. In fact, we can see the roots of these sciences and metaphysics in many areas of the world that can be traced back to its Indian or Vedic origins.
Furthermore, we often do not know of all the progress that had been made during the ancient times of India, which used to be called Bharatvarsha or Aryavrata. Nor do most people know all that ancient India gave to the world. So let us take a serious look at this.
From the Preface of Indian Tradition of Chemistry and Chemical Technology, the authors relate most accurately: “Hindus are a race who have dwelled on the most fundamental questions about life (& death), about nature and its origins. The bold questioning by Hindus gave birth to theories, axioms, principles and a unique approach to and a way of life. The approach to life and the way of life led to the evolution of one of the most ancient and grand cultures on the face of the earth. The spiritual aspects of Hindu culture are more commonly known, the fact that science, technology and industry were a part of their culture is little known.
“For historical reasons, the achievements of ancient Hindus in various fields of science and technology are not popularly known to Indians. The recent research by Sri Dharmpal and others has shown that the colonial invaders and the rulers had a vested interest in distorting and destroying the information regarding all positive aspects of Hindu culture. The conventional understanding today is that Hindus were more concerned about rituals, about spirituality, and the world above or the world after death. That Hindus were an equally materialistic people, that India was the industrial workshop of the world till the end of 18th century, that Hindus had taken up basic questions of the principles of astronomy, fundamental particles, origins of the universe, applied psychiatry and so on, are not well documented and not popularly known. That ancient Hindus had highly evolved technologies in textile engineering, ceramics, printing, weaponry, climatology and meteorology, architecture, medicine and surgery, metallurgy, agriculture and agricultural engineering, civil engineering, town planning, and similar other fields is known only to a few scholars even today. There are about 44 known ancient and medieval Sanskrit texts on a technical subject such as chemistry alone. The information about the science and technological heritage of India is embedded in the scriptures, the epics and in several of the technical texts. The information needs to be taken out of these and presented.
“Facts like Hindus had the knowledge that the sun is the center of the solar system, about the geography of the earth, the way the plants produce food, the way blood circulates in the body, the science of abstract mathematics and numbers, the principles of health, medicine and surgery and so on at a time in history when the rest of the world did not know how to think, talk and write has to be exposed to people. This can draw the attention of these communities, especially the future generation towards ‘ideas’ that are essentially Indian.
“There are several published works on the history of India. Such works are written by Indian scholars as well as western researchers in oriental and Indological studies. Many of these works are highly scholastic and are not amenable to the common man. There is a need to make the knowledge of science heritage of India known to one and all. Further, there is need for studying scriptures, epics, and other ancient literature (in Sanskrit as well as other regional languages) to unearth the wealth of knowledge of our ancestors. Reports of such studies also need to be published continuously.”1
This is the goal of the present volume, to easily and simply convey this knowledge for the benefit of everyone, for the correct view of history, and to give credit where credit is due.

THE ADVANCED NATURE OF ANCIENT INDIAN SCIENCES
Achievements in the sciences of ancient India were known all over the world, even in Arabia, China, Spain, and Greece, countries in which medieval scholars acknowledged their indebtedness to India. For example, the Arab scholar Sa’id ibn Ahmad al-Andalusi (1029–1070) wrote in his history on science, called Tabaqat-al’umam:
“The first nation to have cultivated science is India… India is known for the wisdom of its people. Over many centuries, all the kings of the past have recognized the ability of the Indians in all the branches of knowledge. The kings of China have stated that the kings of the world are five in number and all the people of the world are their subjects. They mentioned the king of China, the king of India, the king of the Turks, the king of the Persians, and the king of the Romans. …they referred to the king of India as the ‘king of wisdom’ because of the Indians’ careful treatment of ‘ulum [sciences] and all the branches of knowledge.
“The Indians, known to all nations for many centuries, are the metal [essence] of wisdom, the source of fairness and objectivity. They are people of sublime pensiveness, universal apologues, and useful and rare inventions. …To their credit the Indians have made great strides in the study of numbers and of geometry. They have acquired immense information and reached the zenith in their knowledge of the movements of the stars [astronomy]. …After all that they have surpassed all other people in their knowledge of medical sciences…”
Furthermore, “Whether it was astronomy, mathematics (specially geometry), medicine or metallurgy, each was a pragmatic contribution to the general Hindu ethos, viz., Man in Nature, Man in harmony with Nature, and not Man and Nature or Man Against Nature, that characterizes modern science. The Hindu approach to nature was holistic, often alluding to the terrestrial-celestial correspondence and human-divine relationship. Hindu and scientific and technological developments were an integral part of this attitude that was assiduously fostered in the ancient period.” 2
In his article, Indic Mathematics: India and the Scientific Revolution, Dr. David Grey lists some of the most important developments in the history of mathematics that took place in India, summarizing the contributions of luminaries such as Aryabhata, Brahmagupta, Mahavira, Bhaskara, and Madhava. He concludes by asserting, “the role played by India in the development (of the scientific revolution in Europe) is no mere footnote, easily and inconsequentially swept under the rug of Eurocentric bias. To do so is to distort history, and to deny India one of its greatest contributions to world civilizations.”
Lin Yutang, Chinese scholar and author, also wrote that: “India was China’s teacher in trigonometry, quadratic equations, grammar, phonetics…” and so forth. Francois Voltaire also stated: “… everything has come down to us from the banks of the Ganges.”
Referring to the above quotes, David Osborn concludes thus: “From these statements we see that many renowned intellectuals believed that the Vedasprovided the origin of scientific thought.”
The Syrian astronomer / monk Severus Sebokhy (writing CE 662), as expressed by A. L. Basham in his book The Wonder That Was India (p. 6), explained, “I shall now speak of the knowledge of the Hindus… Of their subtle discoveries in the science of astronomy – discoveries even more ingenious than those of the Greeks and Babylonians – of their rational system of mathematics, or of their method of calculation which no words can praise strongly enough – I mean the system using nine symbols. If these things were known by the people who think that they alone have mastered the sciences because they speak Greek, they would perhaps be convinced, though a little late in the day, that other folk, not only Greeks, but men of a different tongue, know something as well as they.”
There have been many scholars, both old and new, who readily agree and point out the progressive nature of the early advancements found in ancient India’s Vedic tradition. So let us take a quick overview of some of what was known and developed in earlier times in the Vedic culture of the East.
American professor Jabez T. Sunderland (1842-1936), President of the India Information Bureau of America, spent many years in India. He was the author of India in Bondage, wherein he wrote, “India created the beginnings of all sciences and she carried some of them to a remarkable degree of development, thereby leading the world. India has produced great literature, great arts, great philosophical systems, great religions, and great men in every department of life–rulers, statesmen, financiers, scholars, poets, generals, colonizers, skilled artisans and craftsmen of every kind, agriculturalists, industrial organizers, and leaders in far reaching trade and commerce by land and sea.”
Sunderland went on to say, “India was a far greater industrial and manufacturing nation than any in Europe or than any other in Asia. Her textile goods–the fine products of her loom, in cotton, wool, linen, and silk–were famous over the civilized world; so were her exquisite jewelry and her precious stones, cut in every lovely form; so were her pottery, porcelains, ceramics of every kind, quality, color and beautiful shape; so were her fine works in metal iron, steel, silver, and gold. She had great architecture–equal in beauty to any in the world. She had great engineering works… Not only was she the greatest ship-building nation, but she had great commerce and trade by land and sea which extended to all known civilized countries.” 3
In India in Bondage, Sunderland also quotes Lord Curzon, the British statesman who was viceroy in India from 1899 to 1905, as saying in his address delivered at the great Delhi Durbar in 1901: “Powerful empires existed and flourished here [in India] while Englishmen were still wandering, painted in the woods, while the English colonies were a wilderness and a jungle. India has left a deeper mark upon the history, the philosophy, and the religion of mankind, than any other terrestrial unit in the universe.”
Lord Curzon had also stated: “While we [the British] hold onto India, we are a first rate power. If we lose India, we will decline to a third rate power. This is the value of India.”
Similar to this, Beatrice Pitney Lamb, former editor of the United Nations News, first visited India in 1949 on an assignment for the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, writes in her book, India: A World in Transition: “In addition to the still visible past glories of art and architecture, the wonderful ancient literature, and other cultural achievements of which educated Indians are justly proud, the Indian past includes another type of glory most tantalizing to the Indians of today–prolonged material prosperity. For well over a millennium and a half, the Indian subcontinent may have been the richest area in the world.” 4
Many other writers and scholars had commented on their high regard for what had been developed in India. For example, to recognize a few, General Joseph Davey Cunningham (1812-1851) author of A History of the Sikhs, writes: “Mathematical science was so perfect and astronomical observations so complete that the paths of the sun and moon were accurately measured.”
There was much admiration even of the language of India. William Cooke Taylor (1800-1849), author of A Popular History of British India, stated inJournal of the Royal Asiatic Society, Vol. II: “It was an astonishing discovery that Hindusthan possessed, in spite of the changes of the realms and changes of time, a language of unrivaled richness and variety; a language, the parent of all those dialects that Europe has fondly called classical–the source alike of Greek flexibility and Roman strength.” 5
French scholar Buffon presented a coherent theory that scholars of ancient India had preserved the old learning from the creators of its sciences, arts, and all useful institutions. Voltaire had also suggested that sciences were more ancient in India than in Egypt. Russian born philosopher Immanuel Kant placed the origin of mankind in the Himalayas and stated that our arts like agriculture, numbers, even the game of chess, came from India.
German scholar Friedrich Schlegel also had a high regard for India, stating that everything of high philosophy or science is of Indian origin. French scholar and judge Louis Jacolliot, in his Bible in India, writes: “Astonishing fact! The Hindu Revelation (Vedas) is of all revelations the only one whose ideas are in perfect harmony with modern science, as it proclaims the slow and gradual formation of the world.” Of course, we can see the videos in which the astrophysicist Carl Sagan says, “The Hindu religion is the only one of the world’s great faiths, dedicated to the idea that the cosmos itself undergoes an immense, indeed, an infinite number of deaths and births. It is the only religion in which the time scales correspond to those of modern cosmology.”
The point is that all science of the Vedic tradition was developed with or in continuation of the ancient Vedic or spiritual knowledge that was a central point in understanding life. It was part of the Absolute Truth, or Sanatana-dharma, by which we could understand how to function in this world, and what is the purpose of both this world and our life in it. From this point, so many other developments took place, not as a means to control the environment, but as a means to know how to work holistically with nature for our material and spiritual progress and growth.
People like the Nobel Prize winner Maurice Maeterlinck wrote in The Great Secret: “…This tradition attributes the vast reservoir of wisdom that somewhere took shape simultaneously with the origin of man, or even if we are to credit it, before his advent upon this earth, to move spiritual entities, to beings less entangled in matter.”
The popular American author Mark Twain also had a high opinion of India, and wrote in Following the Equator: “This is India… cradle of the human race, birth place of human speech, mother of history, grandmother of legend, great-grandmother of tradition, whose yesterdays bear date with the moldering antiquities of the rest of the nations… India had the start of the whole world at the beginning of things. She had the first civilization; she had the first accumulation of material wealth; she was populous with deep thinkers and the subtle intellects; she had mines, and woods, and a fruitful soil.” 6
Even in scientific discoveries, there are those who acknowledge the knowing that has taken the rest of the world ages with which to catch up. For example, Fredric Spielberg writes in Spiritual Practices of India, with an introduction by Alan Watts: “To the philosophers of India, however, relativity is no new discovery, just as the concept of light years is no matter for astonishment to people used to thinking of time in millions of kalpas [days of Brahma]. The fact that the wise men of India have not been concerned with technological applications of this knowledge arises from the circumstance that technology is but one of innumerable ways of applying it. It is, indeed, a remarkable circumstance that when Western civilization discovers relativity, it applies it to the manufacture of atom bombs, whereas, Oriental (Vedic) civilization applies it to the development of new states of consciousness.”
Another simpler example is when Dick Teresi, author of The God Particle and co-founder of Omni magazine, writes in Ancient Roots of Modern Science, “In India, we see the beginnings of theoretical speculations of the size and nature of the earth. Some 1,000 years before Aristotle, the Vedic Aryans asserted that the earth was round and circled the sun.”
Dick Teresi also acknowledges how much of the knowledge we understand today did not necessarily come from the Greek civilization, but actually existed much earlier in the Vedic traditions of India. He again writes inAncient Roots of Modern Science: “Two thousand years before Pythagorus, philosophers in northern India had understood that gravitation held the solar system together, and that therefore the sun, the most massive object, had to be at its center. Our Western mathematical heritage and pride are critically dependent on the triumphs of ancient Greece. These accomplishments have been so greatly exaggerated that it often becomes difficult to sort out how much of modern math is derived from Greece and how much from …the Indians and so on. Our modern numerals 0 through 9 were developed in India. Mathematics existed long before the Greeks constructed their first right angle.” 7

THE ANTIQUITY OF VEDIC CULTURE
Many are those who have mentioned the antiquity of the Vedic tradition, but how far back does it go? Traditionally, it was there since the beginning of time. However, even archeologically we can ascertain its very early dates.
For example, archeologists have found 7000-year-old rock paintings in the Aravalli mountain range near Benari dam in the Kotputli area of Jaipur district in Rajasthan in 1991. These paintings are adjacent to the site of the famous Indus Valley Civilization. Such 7000-year-old (5000 BCE) paintings were also found in Braham Kund Ki Dungari and Budhi Jeengore in Rajasthan. This discovery makes the Vedic civilization more ancient than the Egyptian and Greek and Mesopotamian civilizations. This also negates the Aryan Invasion Theory, the hypothesis that the Vedic Aryans were not indigenous, but established themselves after invading the area, which is completely wrong as we will show later in the book. 8
Along these same lines, further verification was also supplied by the Times of India (May 30th, 1992, New Delhi edition) wherein it was reported that the department of Archeology and Museums in the city of Jaipur, Rajasthan discovered as many as 300 prehistoric paintings on Kanera rocks in an area of 400 square miles near the town of Nimbahera in Chittorgarh district. These paintings are dated between 50,000 to 60,000 years old. That pushes the earliest reaches of Vedic civilization to at least 50,000 years back.
Additional finds such as these are discovered on a regular basis. Another one is reported in the publication called Science (February 23, 2010). It was reported therein that newly discovered archaeological sites in southern and northern India have revealed how people lived before and after the colossal Toba volcanic eruption 74,000 years ago.
The international, multi-disciplinary research team, led by Oxford University in collaboration with Indian institutions, unveiled to a conference in Oxford what it calls “Pompeii-like excavations” beneath the Toba ash.
According to the team, a potentially ground-breaking implication of the new work is that the species responsible for making the stone tools in India was Homo sapiens. Stone tool analysis has revealed that the artefacts consist of cores and flakes, which are classified in India as Middle Palaeolithic and are similar to those made by modern humans in Africa. “Though we are still searching for human fossils to definitively prove the case, we are encouraged by the technological similarities. This suggests that human populations were present in India prior to 74,000 years ago, or about 15,000 years earlier than expected based on some genetic clocks,” said project director Dr Michael Petraglia, Senior Research Fellow in the School of Archaeology at the University of Oxford. This exciting new information questions the idea that the Toba super-eruption caused a worldwide environmental catastrophe.
An area of widespread speculation about the Toba super-eruption is that it nearly drove humanity to extinction. The fact that the Middle Palaeolithic tools of similar styles are found right before and after the Toba super-eruption, suggests that the people who survived the eruption were the same populations, using the same kinds of tools, says Dr Petraglia. The research agrees with evidence that other human ancestors, such as the Neanderthals in Europe and the small brained Hobbits in Southeastern Asia, continued to survive well after Toba.
The team has not discovered much bone in the Toba ash sites, but in the Billasurgam cave complex in Kurnool, Andhra Pradesh, the researchers have found deposits which they believe range from at least 100,000 years ago to the present. They contain a wealth of animal bones such as wild cattle, carnivores and monkeys. They have also identified plant materials in the Toba ash sites and caves, yielding important information about the impact of the Toba super-eruption on the ecological settings.
Dr Petraglia said: “This exciting new information questions the idea that the Toba super-eruption caused a worldwide environmental catastrophe. That is not to say that there were no ecological effects. We do have evidence that the ash temporarily disrupted vegetative communities and it certainly choked and polluted some fresh water sources, probably causing harm to wildlife and maybe even humans.” 9
In this way, recent discoveries show that the area of ancient India was one of the locations for the oldest civilizations the world has known.
CONCLUSION
THE GREATNESS OF INDIA AND VEDIC CULTURE
History certainly proves that India was also one of the wealthiest countries on the planet in its earlier days. Not only did she have vast treasures of knowledge and developments, but ancient India also had great wealth, such as sapphires, rubies, emeralds, pearls, and other gems, along with sunny climate, great fertility, and much more that was exported to various parts of the world, but the deep levels of knowledge and development was another of her greatest assets. For this reason, the ambition of all conquerors was to possess the area of India.
The pearl presented by Julius Caesar to Servilia, the mother of Brutus, as well as the famous pearl ear-ring of Cleopatra, were obtained from India. The Koh-i-noor diamond, weighing at 106.5 carats, one of the most fabled of diamonds, was taken to England from India. In fact, when Alexander left Persia, he told his troops that they were now going to “Golden India” where there was endless wealth, which made the beauty and riches of Persia look puny.
When the Sultan Mahmud of Ghazni destroyed the famous Somnath temple, he found astonishing wealth in diamonds and jewels. He also sacked Mathura and gathered numerous Deities in gold and silver. Thereafter he went to Kanauj which astonished the tyrant and his followers to such a degree in its wealth and beauty at the time that they declared that Kanauj was only rivaled in magnificence by heaven itself.
Ultimately, it was the wealth of India that drew the barbaric Arabs to the country, and then let the half-civilized Tartars to overrun it. It was the wealth of India that attracted Nadir Shah to ancient India, and from where he captured immense booty, which motivated the Abdali chiefs to renew their attacks on the country.
The people of India were actually not so barbaric as the invaders that forced their way into the country, but rather some of the most civilized in the world, primarily because of their sophisticated level of consciousness and gentleness towards one another caused by their training in the principles of the Vedic spiritual culture.
The character of the Hindus of the day had been described by some of those Europeans who had traveled there back in the 19th century, such as Max Muller, wherein he said: “Warren Hastings thus speaks of the Hindus in general: ‘They are gentle and benevolent, more susceptible of gratitude for kindness shown them, and less prompted to vengeance for wrongs inflicted than any people on the face of the earth; faithful, affectionate, submissive to legal authority.’
“Bishop Heber said: ‘The Hindus are brave, courteous, intelligent, most eager for knowledge and improvement; sober, industrious, dutiful parents, affectionate to their children, uniformly gentle and patient, and more easily affected by kindness and attention to their wants and feelings than any people I ever met with.’
“Sir Thomas Munro bears even stronger testimony. He writes: ‘If a good system of agriculture, unrivaled manufacturing skill, a capacity to produce whatever can contribute to either convenience or luxury, schools established in every village for teaching reading, writing, and arithmetic, the general practice of hospitality and charity amongst each other, and above all, a treatment of the female sex full of confidence, respect, and delicacy, are among the signs which denote a civilized people–then the Hindus are not inferior to the nations of Europe, and if civilization is to become an article of trade between England and India, I am convinced that England will gain by the import cargo.'” 10
Besides all these considerations, Max Muller also once related: “I wished to point out that there was another sphere of intellectual activity in which the Hindu excelled–the meditative and transcendent–and that here we might learn from them some lessons of life which we ourselves are but too apt to ignore or to despise.” 11
Finally, in what could be a conclusive statement made by a European who had spent many years living and studying the Vedic culture and Sanskrit literature of early India, Max Muller said, “If I were to look over the whole world to find out the country most richly endowed with all the wealth, power and beauty that nature can bestow–in some parts a very paradise on earth–I should point to India. If I were asked under what sky the human mind has most fully developed some of its choicest gifts, has most deeply pondered on the greatest problems of life, and has found solutions of some of them which well deserve the attention even of those who have studied Plato and Kant–I should point to India. And if I were to ask myself from what literature we, here in Europe, we who have been nurtured almost exclusively on the thoughts of Greeks and Romans, and of one Semitic race, the Jewish, may draw that corrective which is most wanted in order to make our inner life more perfect, more comprehensive, more universal, in fact more truly human, a life not for this life only, but a transfigured and eternal life–again I should point to India.”12
CHAPTER NOTES
1. Prof. A. R. Vasudeva Murthy and Prasun Kumar Mishra, Indian Tradition of Chemistry and Chemical Technology, Samskrita Bharati, Bangalore, India, August, 1999, pp. i-v.
2. Science and Technology in Ancient India, by Editorial Board of Vijnan Bharati, Mumbai, August, 2002, Foreword by B. V. Subbarayappa.
3. Niranjan Shah, Indian Tribune Newspaper, December 8, 2007.
4. Ibid.
5. Ibid.
6. Niranjan Shah, Indian Tribune Newspaper, December 1, 2007.
7. Niranjan Shah, Indian Tribune Newspaper, December 9, 2005.
8. India Tribune, June 1, 1991, Atlanta edition.
10. Max Muller, India: What can it teach us?, first published in 1883, published by Rupa & Co., New Delhi, 2002, pp. 46-47)
11. Max Muller, India: What can it teach us?, Longmans, Funk & Wagnalls, London, 1999, p. 22)
12. Max Muller, India: What can it teach us?, first published in 1883, published by Rupa & Co., New Delhi, 2002, p. 5)
[More information from www.stephen-knapp.com]

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Northern Lights Over Teepees
These are spectacular and the teepees are so
pretty in the dark but,
 check out that thermometer! (NORTHERN LIGHTS, YELLOW KNIFECANADA)







 
BELOW IS A FIRE RAINBOW – THE RAREST OF ALL NATURALLY OCCURRING
ATMOSPHERIC PHENOMENA.
 THE PICTURE WAS CAPTURED
ON THE
  IDAHOWASHINGTON BORDER. THE EVENT LASTED ABOUT 1
HOUR.
 CLOUDS HAVE TO BE CIRRUS, AT LEAST 20 THOUSAND FEET IN THE AIR, WITH
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THE CLOUDS AT PRECISELY 58 DEGREES
. 
God’s handiwork..Beautiful sight!
Pass along for others to see!
 
Sunset at the North Pole
 
This is one of the rarest pictures that you will ever see in your life when the moon was closest to the earth. The date the picture was taken Thursday, the 13th of March 2011.
And, you also see the sun below the moon, an amazing photo and not one easily
duplicated. 

The Chinese have a saying that goes something like this:
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The wonders of Tirumala and Tirupati


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When you visit Thirumala, observe this enchantment from a distance, say from the Tiruchanur Bye-pass road !!
 
 
Subject: Tirumala – Reality | Ultimate – Adboota…………]]]
 
 
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Greatness of India


THE GREATNESS OF ANCIENT INDIA’S DEVELOPMENTS

(Excerpt from “Advancements of Ancient India’s Vedic Culture”)

By Stephen Knapp

When we talk about the planet’s earliest civilization, we are talking about the world’s earliest sophisticated society after the last ice age. This means that according to the Vedic time tables, various forms of civilization have been existing for millions of years. But the first record of an organized and developed society was the Vedic culture that arose in ancient India with the Indus Sarasvati civilization, and then spread out from there in all directions around the world.

Often times we see that students, even in India’s academic system, have not studied or encountered the contributions that were made by early civilization in the area of ancient India. Not only are they not aware of such developments that had been given from India, but there is often a lack of such knowledge to be studied. Therefore, this book is to help fill that gap of information and to show how this area of the world, indeed, had a most advanced civilization, but was also where many of society’s advancements originated.

It can be found that what became the area of India and its Vedic culture was way ahead of its time. This can be noticed in such things as industry, metallurgy, science, textiles, medicine, surgery, mathematics, and, of course, philosophy and spirituality. In fact, we can see the roots of these sciences and metaphysics in many areas of the world that can be traced back to its Indian or Vedic origins.

Furthermore, we often do not know of all the progress that had been made during the ancient times of India, which used to be called Bharatvarsha or Aryavrata. Nor do most people know all that ancient India gave to the world. So let us take a serious look at this.

From the Preface of Indian Tradition of Chemistry and Chemical Technology, the authors relate most accurately: “Hindus are a race who have dwelled on the most fundamental questions about life (& death), about nature and its origins. The bold questioning by Hindus gave birth to theories, axioms, principles and a unique approach to and a way of life. The approach to life and the way of life led to the evolution of one of the most ancient and grand cultures on the face of the earth. The spiritual aspects of Hindu culture are more commonly known, the fact that science, technology and industry were a part of their culture is little known.

“For historical reasons, the achievements of ancient Hindus in various fields of science and technology are not popularly known to Indians. The recent research by Sri Dharmpal and others has shown that the colonial invaders and the rulers had a vested interest in distorting and destroying the information regarding all positive aspects of Hindu culture. The conventional understanding today is that Hindus were more concerned about rituals, about spirituality, and the world above or the world after death. That Hindus were an equally materialistic people, that India was the industrial workshop of the world till the end of 18th century, that Hindus had taken up basic questions of the principles of astronomy, fundamental particles, origins of the universe, applied psychiatry and so on, are not well documented and not popularly known. That ancient Hindus had highly evolved technologies in textile engineering, ceramics, printing, weaponry, climatology and meteorology, architecture, medicine and surgery, metallurgy, agriculture and agricultural engineering, civil engineering, town planning, and similar other fields is known only to a few scholars even today. There are about 44 known ancient and medieval Sanskrit texts on a technical subject such as chemistry alone. The information about the science and technological heritage of India is embedded in the scriptures, the epics and in several of the technical texts. The information needs to be taken out of these and presented.

“Facts like Hindus had the knowledge that the sun is the center of the solar system, about the geography of the earth, the way the plants produce food, the way blood circulates in the body, the science of abstract mathematics and numbers, the principles of health, medicine and surgery and so on at a time in history when the rest of the world did not know how to think, talk and write has to be exposed to people. This can draw the attention of these communities, especially the future generation towards ‘ideas’ that are essentially Indian.

“There are several published works on the history of India. Such works are written by Indian scholars as well as western researchers in oriental and Indological studies. Many of these works are highly scholastic and are not amenable to the common man. There is a need to make the knowledge of science heritage of India known to one and all. Further, there is need for studying scriptures, epics, and other ancient literature (in Sanskrit as well as other regional languages) to unearth the wealth of knowledge of our ancestors. Reports of such studies also need to be published continuously.”1

This is the goal of the present volume, to easily and simply convey this knowledge for the benefit of everyone, for the correct view of history, and to give credit where credit is due.

THE ADVANCED NATURE OF ANCIENT INDIAN SCIENCES

Achievements in the sciences of ancient India were known all over the world, even in Arabia, China, Spain, and Greece, countries in which medieval scholars acknowledged their indebtedness to India. For example, the Arab scholar Sa’id ibn Ahmad al-Andalusi (1029–1070) wrote in his history on science, called Tabaqat-al’umam:

“The first nation to have cultivated science is India… India is known for the wisdom of its people. Over many centuries, all the kings of the past have recognized the ability of the Indians in all the branches of knowledge. The kings of China have stated that the kings of the world are five in number and all the people of the world are their subjects. They mentioned the king of China, the king of India, the king of the Turks, the king of the Persians, and the king of the Romans. …they referred to the king of India as the ‘king of wisdom’ because of the Indians’ careful treatment of ‘ulum [sciences] and all the branches of knowledge.

“The Indians, known to all nations for many centuries, are the metal [essence] of wisdom, the source of fairness and objectivity. They are people of sublime pensiveness, universal apologues, and useful and rare inventions. …To their credit the Indians have made great strides in the study of numbers and of geometry. They have acquired immense information and reached the zenith in their knowledge of the movements of the stars [astronomy]. …After all that they have surpassed all other people in their knowledge of medical sciences…”

Furthermore, “Whether it was astronomy, mathematics (specially geometry), medicine or metallurgy, each was a pragmatic contribution to the general Hindu ethos, viz., Man in Nature, Man in harmony with Nature, and not Man and Nature or Man Against Nature, that characterizes modern science. The Hindu approach to nature was holistic, often alluding to the terrestrial-celestial correspondence and human-divine relationship. Hindu and scientific and technological developments were an integral part of this attitude that was assiduously fostered in the ancient period.” 2

In his article, Indic Mathematics: India and the Scientific Revolution, Dr. David Grey lists some of the most important developments in the history of mathematics that took place in India, summarizing the contributions of luminaries such as Aryabhata, Brahmagupta, Mahavira, Bhaskara, and Madhava. He concludes by asserting, “the role played by India in the development (of the scientific revolution in Europe) is no mere footnote, easily and inconsequentially swept under the rug of Eurocentric bias. To do so is to distort history, and to deny India one of its greatest contributions to world civilizations.”

Lin Yutang, Chinese scholar and author, also wrote that: “India was China’s teacher in trigonometry, quadratic equations, grammar, phonetics…” and so forth. Francois Voltaire also stated: “… everything has come down to us from the banks of the Ganges.”

Referring to the above quotes, David Osborn concludes thus: “From these statements we see that many renowned intellectuals believed that the Vedasprovided the origin of scientific thought.”

The Syrian astronomer / monk Severus Sebokhy (writing CE 662), as expressed by A. L. Basham in his book The Wonder That Was India (p. 6), explained, “I shall now speak of the knowledge of the Hindus… Of their subtle discoveries in the science of astronomy – discoveries even more ingenious than those of the Greeks and Babylonians – of their rational system of mathematics, or of their method of calculation which no words can praise strongly enough – I mean the system using nine symbols. If these things were known by the people who think that they alone have mastered the sciences because they speak Greek, they would perhaps be convinced, though a little late in the day, that other folk, not only Greeks, but men of a different tongue, know something as well as they.”

There have been many scholars, both old and new, who readily agree and point out the progressive nature of the early advancements found in ancient India’s Vedic tradition. So let us take a quick overview of some of what was known and developed in earlier times in the Vedic culture of the East.

American professor Jabez T. Sunderland (1842-1936), President of the India Information Bureau of America, spent many years in India. He was the author of India in Bondage, wherein he wrote, “India created the beginnings of all sciences and she carried some of them to a remarkable degree of development, thereby leading the world. India has produced great literature, great arts, great philosophical systems, great religions, and great men in every department of life–rulers, statesmen, financiers, scholars, poets, generals, colonizers, skilled artisans and craftsmen of every kind, agriculturalists, industrial organizers, and leaders in far reaching trade and commerce by land and sea.”

Sunderland went on to say, “India was a far greater industrial and manufacturing nation than any in Europe or than any other in Asia. Her textile goods–the fine products of her loom, in cotton, wool, linen, and silk–were famous over the civilized world; so were her exquisite jewelry and her precious stones, cut in every lovely form; so were her pottery, porcelains, ceramics of every kind, quality, color and beautiful shape; so were her fine works in metal iron, steel, silver, and gold. She had great architecture–equal in beauty to any in the world. She had great engineering works… Not only was she the greatest ship-building nation, but she had great commerce and trade by land and sea which extended to all known civilized countries.” 3

In India in Bondage, Sunderland also quotes Lord Curzon, the British statesman who was viceroy in India from 1899 to 1905, as saying in his address delivered at the great Delhi Durbar in 1901: “Powerful empires existed and flourished here [in India] while Englishmen were still wandering, painted in the woods, while the English colonies were a wilderness and a jungle. India has left a deeper mark upon the history, the philosophy, and the religion of mankind, than any other terrestrial unit in the universe.”

Lord Curzon had also stated: “While we [the British] hold onto India, we are a first rate power. If we lose India, we will decline to a third rate power. This is the value of India.”

Similar to this, Beatrice Pitney Lamb, former editor of the United Nations News, first visited India in 1949 on an assignment for the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, writes in her book, India: A World in Transition: “In addition to the still visible past glories of art and architecture, the wonderful ancient literature, and other cultural achievements of which educated Indians are justly proud, the Indian past includes another type of glory most tantalizing to the Indians of today–prolonged material prosperity. For well over a millennium and a half, the Indian subcontinent may have been the richest area in the world.” 4

Many other writers and scholars had commented on their high regard for what had been developed in India. For example, to recognize a few, General Joseph Davey Cunningham (1812-1851) author of A History of the Sikhs, writes: “Mathematical science was so perfect and astronomical observations so complete that the paths of the sun and moon were accurately measured.”

There was much admiration even of the language of India. William Cooke Taylor (1800-1849), author of A Popular History of British India, stated inJournal of the Royal Asiatic Society, Vol. II: “It was an astonishing discovery that Hindusthan possessed, in spite of the changes of the realms and changes of time, a language of unrivaled richness and variety; a language, the parent of all those dialects that Europe has fondly called classical–the source alike of Greek flexibility and Roman strength.” 5

French scholar Buffon presented a coherent theory that scholars of ancient India had preserved the old learning from the creators of its sciences, arts, and all useful institutions. Voltaire had also suggested that sciences were more ancient in India than in Egypt. Russian born philosopher Immanuel Kant placed the origin of mankind in the Himalayas and stated that our arts like agriculture, numbers, even the game of chess, came from India.

German scholar Friedrich Schlegel also had a high regard for India, stating that everything of high philosophy or science is of Indian origin. French scholar and judge Louis Jacolliot, in his Bible in India, writes: “Astonishing fact! The Hindu Revelation (Vedas) is of all revelations the only one whose ideas are in perfect harmony with modern science, as it proclaims the slow and gradual formation of the world.” Of course, we can see the videos in which the astrophysicist Carl Sagan says, “The Hindu religion is the only one of the world’s great faiths, dedicated to the idea that the cosmos itself undergoes an immense, indeed, an infinite number of deaths and births. It is the only religion in which the time scales correspond to those of modern cosmology.”

The point is that all science of the Vedic tradition was developed with or in continuation of the ancient Vedic or spiritual knowledge that was a central point in understanding life. It was part of the Absolute Truth, or Sanatana-dharma, by which we could understand how to function in this world, and what is the purpose of both this world and our life in it. From this point, so many other developments took place, not as a means to control the environment, but as a means to know how to work holistically with nature for our material and spiritual progress and growth.

People like the Nobel Prize winner Maurice Maeterlinck wrote in The Great Secret: “…This tradition attributes the vast reservoir of wisdom that somewhere took shape simultaneously with the origin of man, or even if we are to credit it, before his advent upon this earth, to move spiritual entities, to beings less entangled in matter.”

The popular American author Mark Twain also had a high opinion of India, and wrote in Following the Equator: “This is India… cradle of the human race, birth place of human speech, mother of history, grandmother of legend, great-grandmother of tradition, whose yesterdays bear date with the moldering antiquities of the rest of the nations… India had the start of the whole world at the beginning of things. She had the first civilization; she had the first accumulation of material wealth; she was populous with deep thinkers and the subtle intellects; she had mines, and woods, and a fruitful soil.” 6

Even in scientific discoveries, there are those who acknowledge the knowing that has taken the rest of the world ages with which to catch up. For example, Fredric Spielberg writes in Spiritual Practices of India, with an introduction by Alan Watts: “To the philosophers of India, however, relativity is no new discovery, just as the concept of light years is no matter for astonishment to people used to thinking of time in millions of kalpas [days of Brahma]. The fact that the wise men of India have not been concerned with technological applications of this knowledge arises from the circumstance that technology is but one of innumerable ways of applying it. It is, indeed, a remarkable circumstance that when Western civilization discovers relativity, it applies it to the manufacture of atom bombs, whereas, Oriental (Vedic) civilization applies it to the development of new states of consciousness.”

Another simpler example is when Dick Teresi, author of The God Particle and co-founder of Omni magazine, writes in Ancient Roots of Modern Science, “In India, we see the beginnings of theoretical speculations of the size and nature of the earth. Some 1,000 years before Aristotle, the Vedic Aryans asserted that the earth was round and circled the sun.”

Dick Teresi also acknowledges how much of the knowledge we understand today did not necessarily come from the Greek civilization, but actually existed much earlier in the Vedic traditions of India. He again writes inAncient Roots of Modern Science: “Two thousand years before Pythagorus, philosophers in northern India had understood that gravitation held the solar system together, and that therefore the sun, the most massive object, had to be at its center. Our Western mathematical heritage and pride are critically dependent on the triumphs of ancient Greece. These accomplishments have been so greatly exaggerated that it often becomes difficult to sort out how much of modern math is derived from Greece and how much from …the Indians and so on. Our modern numerals 0 through 9 were developed in India. Mathematics existed long before the Greeks constructed their first right angle.” 7

THE ANTIQUITY OF VEDIC CULTURE

Many are those who have mentioned the antiquity of the Vedic tradition, but how far back does it go? Traditionally, it was there since the beginning of time. However, even archeologically we can ascertain its very early dates.

For example, archeologists have found 7000-year-old rock paintings in the Aravalli mountain range near Benari dam in the Kotputli area of Jaipur district in Rajasthan in 1991. These paintings are adjacent to the site of the famous Indus Valley Civilization. Such 7000-year-old (5000 BCE) paintings were also found in Braham Kund Ki Dungari and Budhi Jeengore in Rajasthan. This discovery makes the Vedic civilization more ancient than the Egyptian and Greek and Mesopotamian civilizations. This also negates the Aryan Invasion Theory, the hypothesis that the Vedic Aryans were not indigenous, but established themselves after invading the area, which is completely wrong as we will show later in the book. 8

Along these same lines, further verification was also supplied by the Times of India (May 30th, 1992, New Delhi edition) wherein it was reported that the department of Archeology and Museums in the city of Jaipur, Rajasthan discovered as many as 300 prehistoric paintings on Kanera rocks in an area of 400 square miles near the town of Nimbahera in Chittorgarh district. These paintings are dated between 50,000 to 60,000 years old. That pushes the earliest reaches of Vedic civilization to at least 50,000 years back.

Additional finds such as these are discovered on a regular basis. Another one is reported in the publication called Science (February 23, 2010). It was reported therein that newly discovered archaeological sites in southern and northern India have revealed how people lived before and after the colossal Toba volcanic eruption 74,000 years ago.

The international, multi-disciplinary research team, led by Oxford University in collaboration with Indian institutions, unveiled to a conference in Oxford what it calls “Pompeii-like excavations” beneath the Toba ash.

According to the team, a potentially ground-breaking implication of the new work is that the species responsible for making the stone tools in India was Homo sapiens. Stone tool analysis has revealed that the artefacts consist of cores and flakes, which are classified in India as Middle Palaeolithic and are similar to those made by modern humans in Africa. “Though we are still searching for human fossils to definitively prove the case, we are encouraged by the technological similarities. This suggests that human populations were present in India prior to 74,000 years ago, or about 15,000 years earlier than expected based on some genetic clocks,” said project director Dr Michael Petraglia, Senior Research Fellow in the School of Archaeology at the University of Oxford. This exciting new information questions the idea that the Toba super-eruption caused a worldwide environmental catastrophe.

An area of widespread speculation about the Toba super-eruption is that it nearly drove humanity to extinction. The fact that the Middle Palaeolithic tools of similar styles are found right before and after the Toba super-eruption, suggests that the people who survived the eruption were the same populations, using the same kinds of tools, says Dr Petraglia. The research agrees with evidence that other human ancestors, such as the Neanderthals in Europe and the small brained Hobbits in Southeastern Asia, continued to survive well after Toba.

The team has not discovered much bone in the Toba ash sites, but in the Billasurgam cave complex in Kurnool, Andhra Pradesh, the researchers have found deposits which they believe range from at least 100,000 years ago to the present. They contain a wealth of animal bones such as wild cattle, carnivores and monkeys. They have also identified plant materials in the Toba ash sites and caves, yielding important information about the impact of the Toba super-eruption on the ecological settings.

Dr Petraglia said: “This exciting new information questions the idea that the Toba super-eruption caused a worldwide environmental catastrophe. That is not to say that there were no ecological effects. We do have evidence that the ash temporarily disrupted vegetative communities and it certainly choked and polluted some fresh water sources, probably causing harm to wildlife and maybe even humans.” 9

In this way, recent discoveries show that the area of ancient India was one of the locations for the oldest civilizations the world has known.

 

CONCLUSION

THE GREATNESS OF INDIA AND VEDIC CULTURE

History certainly proves that India was also one of the wealthiest countries on the planet in its earlier days. Not only did she have vast treasures of knowledge and developments, but ancient India also had great wealth, such as sapphires, rubies, emeralds, pearls, and other gems, along with sunny climate, great fertility, and much more that was exported to various parts of the world, but the deep levels of knowledge and development was another of her greatest assets. For this reason, the ambition of all conquerors was to possess the area of India.

The pearl presented by Julius Caesar to Servilia, the mother of Brutus, as well as the famous pearl ear-ring of Cleopatra, were obtained from India. The Koh-i-noor diamond, weighing at 106.5 carats, one of the most fabled of diamonds, was taken to England from India. In fact, when Alexander left Persia, he told his troops that they were now going to “Golden India” where there was endless wealth, which made the beauty and riches of Persia look puny.

When the Sultan Mahmud of Ghazni destroyed the famous Somnath temple, he found astonishing wealth in diamonds and jewels. He also sacked Mathura and gathered numerous Deities in gold and silver. Thereafter he went to Kanauj which astonished the tyrant and his followers to such a degree in its wealth and beauty at the time that they declared that Kanauj was only rivaled in magnificence by heaven itself.

Ultimately, it was the wealth of India that drew the barbaric Arabs to the country, and then let the half-civilized Tartars to overrun it. It was the wealth of India that attracted Nadir Shah to ancient India, and from where he captured immense booty, which motivated the Abdali chiefs to renew their attacks on the country.

The people of India were actually not so barbaric as the invaders that forced their way into the country, but rather some of the most civilized in the world, primarily because of their sophisticated level of consciousness and gentleness towards one another caused by their training in the principles of the Vedic spiritual culture.

The character of the Hindus of the day had been described by some of those Europeans who had traveled there back in the 19th century, such as Max Muller, wherein he said: “Warren Hastings thus speaks of the Hindus in general: ‘They are gentle and benevolent, more susceptible of gratitude for kindness shown them, and less prompted to vengeance for wrongs inflicted than any people on the face of the earth; faithful, affectionate, submissive to legal authority.’

“Bishop Heber said: ‘The Hindus are brave, courteous, intelligent, most eager for knowledge and improvement; sober, industrious, dutiful parents, affectionate to their children, uniformly gentle and patient, and more easily affected by kindness and attention to their wants and feelings than any people I ever met with.’

“Sir Thomas Munro bears even stronger testimony. He writes: ‘If a good system of agriculture, unrivaled manufacturing skill, a capacity to produce whatever can contribute to either convenience or luxury, schools established in every village for teaching reading, writing, and arithmetic, the general practice of hospitality and charity amongst each other, and above all, a treatment of the female sex full of confidence, respect, and delicacy, are among the signs which denote a civilized people–then the Hindus are not inferior to the nations of Europe, and if civilization is to become an article of trade between England and India, I am convinced that England will gain by the import cargo.'” 10

Besides all these considerations, Max Muller also once related: “I wished to point out that there was another sphere of intellectual activity in which the Hindu excelled–the meditative and transcendent–and that here we might learn from them some lessons of life which we ourselves are but too apt to ignore or to despise.” 11

Finally, in what could be a conclusive statement made by a European who had spent many years living and studying the Vedic culture and Sanskrit literature of early India, Max Muller said, “If I were to look over the whole world to find out the country most richly endowed with all the wealth, power and beauty that nature can bestow–in some parts a very paradise on earth–I should point to India. If I were asked under what sky the human mind has most fully developed some of its choicest gifts, has most deeply pondered on the greatest problems of life, and has found solutions of some of them which well deserve the attention even of those who have studied Plato and Kant–I should point to India. And if I were to ask myself from what literature we, here in Europe, we who have been nurtured almost exclusively on the thoughts of Greeks and Romans, and of one Semitic race, the Jewish, may draw that corrective which is most wanted in order to make our inner life more perfect, more comprehensive, more universal, in fact more truly human, a life not for this life only, but a transfigured and eternal life–again I should point to India.”12

 

CHAPTER NOTES

1. Prof. A. R. Vasudeva Murthy and Prasun Kumar Mishra, Indian Tradition of Chemistry and Chemical Technology, Samskrita Bharati, Bangalore, India, August, 1999, pp. i-v.

2. Science and Technology in Ancient India, by Editorial Board of Vijnan Bharati, Mumbai, August, 2002, Foreword by B. V. Subbarayappa.

3. Niranjan Shah, Indian Tribune Newspaper, December 8, 2007.

4. Ibid.

5. Ibid.

6. Niranjan Shah, Indian Tribune Newspaper, December 1, 2007.

7. Niranjan Shah, Indian Tribune Newspaper, December 9, 2005.

8. India Tribune, June 1, 1991, Atlanta edition.

9. http://www.ox.ac.uk/images/maincolumn/9440

10. Max Muller, India: What can it teach us?, first published in 1883, published by Rupa & Co., New Delhi, 2002, pp. 46-47)

11. Max Muller, India: What can it teach us?, Longmans, Funk & Wagnalls, London, 1999, p. 22)

12. Max Muller, India: What can it teach us?, first published in 1883, published by Rupa & Co., New Delhi, 2002, p. 5)

[More information from www.stephen-knapp.com]

Greatness of India


THE GREATNESS OF ANCIENT INDIA’S DEVELOPMENTS

(Excerpt from "Advancements of Ancient India’s Vedic Culture")

By Stephen Knapp

When we talk about the planet’s earliest civilization, we are talking about the world’s earliest sophisticated society after the last ice age. This means that according to the Vedic time tables, various forms of civilization have been existing for millions of years. But the first record of an organized and developed society was the Vedic culture that arose in ancient India with the Indus Sarasvati civilization, and then spread out from there in all directions around the world.

Often times we see that students, even in India’s academic system, have not studied or encountered the contributions that were made by early civilization in the area of ancient India. Not only are they not aware of such developments that had been given from India, but there is often a lack of such knowledge to be studied. Therefore, this book is to help fill that gap of information and to show how this area of the world, indeed, had a most advanced civilization, but was also where many of society’s advancements originated.

It can be found that what became the area of India and its Vedic culture was way ahead of its time. This can be noticed in such things as industry, metallurgy, science, textiles, medicine, surgery, mathematics, and, of course, philosophy and spirituality. In fact, we can see the roots of these sciences and metaphysics in many areas of the world that can be traced back to its Indian or Vedic origins.

Furthermore, we often do not know of all the progress that had been made during the ancient times of India, which used to be called Bharatvarsha or Aryavrata. Nor do most people know all that ancient India gave to the world. So let us take a serious look at this.

From the Preface of Indian Tradition of Chemistry and Chemical Technology, the authors relate most accurately: "Hindus are a race who have dwelled on the most fundamental questions about life (& death), about nature and its origins. The bold questioning by Hindus gave birth to theories, axioms, principles and a unique approach to and a way of life. The approach to life and the way of life led to the evolution of one of the most ancient and grand cultures on the face of the earth. The spiritual aspects of Hindu culture are more commonly known, the fact that science, technology and industry were a part of their culture is little known.

"For historical reasons, the achievements of ancient Hindus in various fields of science and technology are not popularly known to Indians. The recent research by Sri Dharmpal and others has shown that the colonial invaders and the rulers had a vested interest in distorting and destroying the information regarding all positive aspects of Hindu culture. The conventional understanding today is that Hindus were more concerned about rituals, about spirituality, and the world above or the world after death. That Hindus were an equally materialistic people, that India was the industrial workshop of the world till the end of 18th century, that Hindus had taken up basic questions of the principles of astronomy, fundamental particles, origins of the universe, applied psychiatry and so on, are not well documented and not popularly known. That ancient Hindus had highly evolved technologies in textile engineering, ceramics, printing, weaponry, climatology and meteorology, architecture, medicine and surgery, metallurgy, agriculture and agricultural engineering, civil engineering, town planning, and similar other fields is known only to a few scholars even today. There are about 44 known ancient and medieval Sanskrit texts on a technical subject such as chemistry alone. The information about the science and technological heritage of India is embedded in the scriptures, the epics and in several of the technical texts. The information needs to be taken out of these and presented.

"Facts like Hindus had the knowledge that the sun is the center of the solar system, about the geography of the earth, the way the plants produce food, the way blood circulates in the body, the science of abstract mathematics and numbers, the principles of health, medicine and surgery and so on at a time in history when the rest of the world did not know how to think, talk and write has to be exposed to people. This can draw the attention of these communities, especially the future generation towards ‘ideas’ that are essentially Indian.

"There are several published works on the history of India. Such works are written by Indian scholars as well as western researchers in oriental and Indological studies. Many of these works are highly scholastic and are not amenable to the common man. There is a need to make the knowledge of science heritage of India known to one and all. Further, there is need for studying scriptures, epics, and other ancient literature (in Sanskrit as well as other regional languages) to unearth the wealth of knowledge of our ancestors. Reports of such studies also need to be published continuously."1

This is the goal of the present volume, to easily and simply convey this knowledge for the benefit of everyone, for the correct view of history, and to give credit where credit is due.

THE ADVANCED NATURE OF ANCIENT INDIAN SCIENCES

Achievements in the sciences of ancient India were known all over the world, even in Arabia, China, Spain, and Greece, countries in which medieval scholars acknowledged their indebtedness to India. For example, the Arab scholar Sa’id ibn Ahmad al-Andalusi (1029–1070) wrote in his history on science, called Tabaqat-al’umam:

"The first nation to have cultivated science is India… India is known for the wisdom of its people. Over many centuries, all the kings of the past have recognized the ability of the Indians in all the branches of knowledge. The kings of China have stated that the kings of the world are five in number and all the people of the world are their subjects. They mentioned the king of China, the king of India, the king of the Turks, the king of the Persians, and the king of the Romans. …they referred to the king of India as the ‘king of wisdom’ because of the Indians’ careful treatment of ‘ulum [sciences] and all the branches of knowledge.

"The Indians, known to all nations for many centuries, are the metal [essence] of wisdom, the source of fairness and objectivity. They are people of sublime pensiveness, universal apologues, and useful and rare inventions. …To their credit the Indians have made great strides in the study of numbers and of geometry. They have acquired immense information and reached the zenith in their knowledge of the movements of the stars [astronomy]. …After all that they have surpassed all other people in their knowledge of medical sciences…"

Furthermore, "Whether it was astronomy, mathematics (specially geometry), medicine or metallurgy, each was a pragmatic contribution to the general Hindu ethos, viz., Man in Nature, Man in harmony with Nature, and not Man and Nature or Man Against Nature, that characterizes modern science. The Hindu approach to nature was holistic, often alluding to the terrestrial-celestial correspondence and human-divine relationship. Hindu and scientific and technological developments were an integral part of this attitude that was assiduously fostered in the ancient period." 2

In his article, Indic Mathematics: India and the Scientific Revolution, Dr. David Grey lists some of the most important developments in the history of mathematics that took place in India, summarizing the contributions of luminaries such as Aryabhata, Brahmagupta, Mahavira, Bhaskara, and Madhava. He concludes by asserting, "the role played by India in the development (of the scientific revolution in Europe) is no mere footnote, easily and inconsequentially swept under the rug of Eurocentric bias. To do so is to distort history, and to deny India one of its greatest contributions to world civilizations."

Lin Yutang, Chinese scholar and author, also wrote that: "India was China’s teacher in trigonometry, quadratic equations, grammar, phonetics…" and so forth. Francois Voltaire also stated: "… everything has come down to us from the banks of the Ganges."

Referring to the above quotes, David Osborn concludes thus: "From these statements we see that many renowned intellectuals believed that the Vedasprovided the origin of scientific thought."

The Syrian astronomer / monk Severus Sebokhy (writing CE 662), as expressed by A. L. Basham in his book The Wonder That Was India (p. 6), explained, "I shall now speak of the knowledge of the Hindus… Of their subtle discoveries in the science of astronomy – discoveries even more ingenious than those of the Greeks and Babylonians – of their rational system of mathematics, or of their method of calculation which no words can praise strongly enough – I mean the system using nine symbols. If these things were known by the people who think that they alone have mastered the sciences because they speak Greek, they would perhaps be convinced, though a little late in the day, that other folk, not only Greeks, but men of a different tongue, know something as well as they."

There have been many scholars, both old and new, who readily agree and point out the progressive nature of the early advancements found in ancient India’s Vedic tradition. So let us take a quick overview of some of what was known and developed in earlier times in the Vedic culture of the East.

American professor Jabez T. Sunderland (1842-1936), President of the India Information Bureau of America, spent many years in India. He was the author of India in Bondage, wherein he wrote, "India created the beginnings of all sciences and she carried some of them to a remarkable degree of development, thereby leading the world. India has produced great literature, great arts, great philosophical systems, great religions, and great men in every department of life–rulers, statesmen, financiers, scholars, poets, generals, colonizers, skilled artisans and craftsmen of every kind, agriculturalists, industrial organizers, and leaders in far reaching trade and commerce by land and sea."

Sunderland went on to say, "India was a far greater industrial and manufacturing nation than any in Europe or than any other in Asia. Her textile goods–the fine products of her loom, in cotton, wool, linen, and silk–were famous over the civilized world; so were her exquisite jewelry and her precious stones, cut in every lovely form; so were her pottery, porcelains, ceramics of every kind, quality, color and beautiful shape; so were her fine works in metal iron, steel, silver, and gold. She had great architecture–equal in beauty to any in the world. She had great engineering works… Not only was she the greatest ship-building nation, but she had great commerce and trade by land and sea which extended to all known civilized countries." 3

In India in Bondage, Sunderland also quotes Lord Curzon, the British statesman who was viceroy in India from 1899 to 1905, as saying in his address delivered at the great Delhi Durbar in 1901: "Powerful empires existed and flourished here [in India] while Englishmen were still wandering, painted in the woods, while the English colonies were a wilderness and a jungle. India has left a deeper mark upon the history, the philosophy, and the religion of mankind, than any other terrestrial unit in the universe."

Lord Curzon had also stated: "While we [the British] hold onto India, we are a first rate power. If we lose India, we will decline to a third rate power. This is the value of India."

Similar to this, Beatrice Pitney Lamb, former editor of the United Nations News, first visited India in 1949 on an assignment for the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, writes in her book, India: A World in Transition: "In addition to the still visible past glories of art and architecture, the wonderful ancient literature, and other cultural achievements of which educated Indians are justly proud, the Indian past includes another type of glory most tantalizing to the Indians of today–prolonged material prosperity. For well over a millennium and a half, the Indian subcontinent may have been the richest area in the world." 4

Many other writers and scholars had commented on their high regard for what had been developed in India. For example, to recognize a few, General Joseph Davey Cunningham (1812-1851) author of A History of the Sikhs, writes: "Mathematical science was so perfect and astronomical observations so complete that the paths of the sun and moon were accurately measured."

There was much admiration even of the language of India. William Cooke Taylor (1800-1849), author of A Popular History of British India, stated inJournal of the Royal Asiatic Society, Vol. II: "It was an astonishing discovery that Hindusthan possessed, in spite of the changes of the realms and changes of time, a language of unrivaled richness and variety; a language, the parent of all those dialects that Europe has fondly called classical–the source alike of Greek flexibility and Roman strength." 5

French scholar Buffon presented a coherent theory that scholars of ancient India had preserved the old learning from the creators of its sciences, arts, and all useful institutions. Voltaire had also suggested that sciences were more ancient in India than in Egypt. Russian born philosopher Immanuel Kant placed the origin of mankind in the Himalayas and stated that our arts like agriculture, numbers, even the game of chess, came from India.

German scholar Friedrich Schlegel also had a high regard for India, stating that everything of high philosophy or science is of Indian origin. French scholar and judge Louis Jacolliot, in his Bible in India, writes: "Astonishing fact! The Hindu Revelation (Vedas) is of all revelations the only one whose ideas are in perfect harmony with modern science, as it proclaims the slow and gradual formation of the world." Of course, we can see the videos in which the astrophysicist Carl Sagan says, "The Hindu religion is the only one of the world’s great faiths, dedicated to the idea that the cosmos itself undergoes an immense, indeed, an infinite number of deaths and births. It is the only religion in which the time scales correspond to those of modern cosmology."

The point is that all science of the Vedic tradition was developed with or in continuation of the ancient Vedic or spiritual knowledge that was a central point in understanding life. It was part of the Absolute Truth, or Sanatana-dharma, by which we could understand how to function in this world, and what is the purpose of both this world and our life in it. From this point, so many other developments took place, not as a means to control the environment, but as a means to know how to work holistically with nature for our material and spiritual progress and growth.

People like the Nobel Prize winner Maurice Maeterlinck wrote in The Great Secret: "…This tradition attributes the vast reservoir of wisdom that somewhere took shape simultaneously with the origin of man, or even if we are to credit it, before his advent upon this earth, to move spiritual entities, to beings less entangled in matter."

The popular American author Mark Twain also had a high opinion of India, and wrote in Following the Equator: "This is India… cradle of the human race, birth place of human speech, mother of history, grandmother of legend, great-grandmother of tradition, whose yesterdays bear date with the moldering antiquities of the rest of the nations… India had the start of the whole world at the beginning of things. She had the first civilization; she had the first accumulation of material wealth; she was populous with deep thinkers and the subtle intellects; she had mines, and woods, and a fruitful soil." 6

Even in scientific discoveries, there are those who acknowledge the knowing that has taken the rest of the world ages with which to catch up. For example, Fredric Spielberg writes in Spiritual Practices of India, with an introduction by Alan Watts: "To the philosophers of India, however, relativity is no new discovery, just as the concept of light years is no matter for astonishment to people used to thinking of time in millions of kalpas [days of Brahma]. The fact that the wise men of India have not been concerned with technological applications of this knowledge arises from the circumstance that technology is but one of innumerable ways of applying it. It is, indeed, a remarkable circumstance that when Western civilization discovers relativity, it applies it to the manufacture of atom bombs, whereas, Oriental (Vedic) civilization applies it to the development of new states of consciousness."

Another simpler example is when Dick Teresi, author of The God Particle and co-founder of Omni magazine, writes in Ancient Roots of Modern Science, "In India, we see the beginnings of theoretical speculations of the size and nature of the earth. Some 1,000 years before Aristotle, the Vedic Aryans asserted that the earth was round and circled the sun."

Dick Teresi also acknowledges how much of the knowledge we understand today did not necessarily come from the Greek civilization, but actually existed much earlier in the Vedic traditions of India. He again writes inAncient Roots of Modern Science: "Two thousand years before Pythagorus, philosophers in northern India had understood that gravitation held the solar system together, and that therefore the sun, the most massive object, had to be at its center. Our Western mathematical heritage and pride are critically dependent on the triumphs of ancient Greece. These accomplishments have been so greatly exaggerated that it often becomes difficult to sort out how much of modern math is derived from Greece and how much from …the Indians and so on. Our modern numerals 0 through 9 were developed in India. Mathematics existed long before the Greeks constructed their first right angle." 7

THE ANTIQUITY OF VEDIC CULTURE

Many are those who have mentioned the antiquity of the Vedic tradition, but how far back does it go? Traditionally, it was there since the beginning of time. However, even archeologically we can ascertain its very early dates.

For example, archeologists have found 7000-year-old rock paintings in the Aravalli mountain range near Benari dam in the Kotputli area of Jaipur district in Rajasthan in 1991. These paintings are adjacent to the site of the famous Indus Valley Civilization. Such 7000-year-old (5000 BCE) paintings were also found in Braham Kund Ki Dungari and Budhi Jeengore in Rajasthan. This discovery makes the Vedic civilization more ancient than the Egyptian and Greek and Mesopotamian civilizations. This also negates the Aryan Invasion Theory, the hypothesis that the Vedic Aryans were not indigenous, but established themselves after invading the area, which is completely wrong as we will show later in the book. 8

Along these same lines, further verification was also supplied by the Times of India (May 30th, 1992, New Delhi edition) wherein it was reported that the department of Archeology and Museums in the city of Jaipur, Rajasthan discovered as many as 300 prehistoric paintings on Kanera rocks in an area of 400 square miles near the town of Nimbahera in Chittorgarh district. These paintings are dated between 50,000 to 60,000 years old. That pushes the earliest reaches of Vedic civilization to at least 50,000 years back.

Additional finds such as these are discovered on a regular basis. Another one is reported in the publication called Science (February 23, 2010). It was reported therein that newly discovered archaeological sites in southern and northern India have revealed how people lived before and after the colossal Toba volcanic eruption 74,000 years ago.

The international, multi-disciplinary research team, led by Oxford University in collaboration with Indian institutions, unveiled to a conference in Oxford what it calls "Pompeii-like excavations" beneath the Toba ash.

According to the team, a potentially ground-breaking implication of the new work is that the species responsible for making the stone tools in India was Homo sapiens. Stone tool analysis has revealed that the artefacts consist of cores and flakes, which are classified in India as Middle Palaeolithic and are similar to those made by modern humans in Africa. "Though we are still searching for human fossils to definitively prove the case, we are encouraged by the technological similarities. This suggests that human populations were present in India prior to 74,000 years ago, or about 15,000 years earlier than expected based on some genetic clocks," said project director Dr Michael Petraglia, Senior Research Fellow in the School of Archaeology at the University of Oxford. This exciting new information questions the idea that the Toba super-eruption caused a worldwide environmental catastrophe.

An area of widespread speculation about the Toba super-eruption is that it nearly drove humanity to extinction. The fact that the Middle Palaeolithic tools of similar styles are found right before and after the Toba super-eruption, suggests that the people who survived the eruption were the same populations, using the same kinds of tools, says Dr Petraglia. The research agrees with evidence that other human ancestors, such as the Neanderthals in Europe and the small brained Hobbits in Southeastern Asia, continued to survive well after Toba.

The team has not discovered much bone in the Toba ash sites, but in the Billasurgam cave complex in Kurnool, Andhra Pradesh, the researchers have found deposits which they believe range from at least 100,000 years ago to the present. They contain a wealth of animal bones such as wild cattle, carnivores and monkeys. They have also identified plant materials in the Toba ash sites and caves, yielding important information about the impact of the Toba super-eruption on the ecological settings.

Dr Petraglia said: "This exciting new information questions the idea that the Toba super-eruption caused a worldwide environmental catastrophe. That is not to say that there were no ecological effects. We do have evidence that the ash temporarily disrupted vegetative communities and it certainly choked and polluted some fresh water sources, probably causing harm to wildlife and maybe even humans." 9

In this way, recent discoveries show that the area of ancient India was one of the locations for the oldest civilizations the world has known.

CONCLUSION

THE GREATNESS OF INDIA AND VEDIC CULTURE

History certainly proves that India was also one of the wealthiest countries on the planet in its earlier days. Not only did she have vast treasures of knowledge and developments, but ancient India also had great wealth, such as sapphires, rubies, emeralds, pearls, and other gems, along with sunny climate, great fertility, and much more that was exported to various parts of the world, but the deep levels of knowledge and development was another of her greatest assets. For this reason, the ambition of all conquerors was to possess the area of India.

The pearl presented by Julius Caesar to Servilia, the mother of Brutus, as well as the famous pearl ear-ring of Cleopatra, were obtained from India. The Koh-i-noor diamond, weighing at 106.5 carats, one of the most fabled of diamonds, was taken to England from India. In fact, when Alexander left Persia, he told his troops that they were now going to "Golden India" where there was endless wealth, which made the beauty and riches of Persia look puny.

When the Sultan Mahmud of Ghazni destroyed the famous Somnath temple, he found astonishing wealth in diamonds and jewels. He also sacked Mathura and gathered numerous Deities in gold and silver. Thereafter he went to Kanauj which astonished the tyrant and his followers to such a degree in its wealth and beauty at the time that they declared that Kanauj was only rivaled in magnificence by heaven itself.

Ultimately, it was the wealth of India that drew the barbaric Arabs to the country, and then let the half-civilized Tartars to overrun it. It was the wealth of India that attracted Nadir Shah to ancient India, and from where he captured immense booty, which motivated the Abdali chiefs to renew their attacks on the country.

The people of India were actually not so barbaric as the invaders that forced their way into the country, but rather some of the most civilized in the world, primarily because of their sophisticated level of consciousness and gentleness towards one another caused by their training in the principles of the Vedic spiritual culture.

The character of the Hindus of the day had been described by some of those Europeans who had traveled there back in the 19th century, such as Max Muller, wherein he said: "Warren Hastings thus speaks of the Hindus in general: ‘They are gentle and benevolent, more susceptible of gratitude for kindness shown them, and less prompted to vengeance for wrongs inflicted than any people on the face of the earth; faithful, affectionate, submissive to legal authority.’

"Bishop Heber said: ‘The Hindus are brave, courteous, intelligent, most eager for knowledge and improvement; sober, industrious, dutiful parents, affectionate to their children, uniformly gentle and patient, and more easily affected by kindness and attention to their wants and feelings than any people I ever met with.’

"Sir Thomas Munro bears even stronger testimony. He writes: ‘If a good system of agriculture, unrivaled manufacturing skill, a capacity to produce whatever can contribute to either convenience or luxury, schools established in every village for teaching reading, writing, and arithmetic, the general practice of hospitality and charity amongst each other, and above all, a treatment of the female sex full of confidence, respect, and delicacy, are among the signs which denote a civilized people–then the Hindus are not inferior to the nations of Europe, and if civilization is to become an article of trade between England and India, I am convinced that England will gain by the import cargo.’" 10

Besides all these considerations, Max Muller also once related: "I wished to point out that there was another sphere of intellectual activity in which the Hindu excelled–the meditative and transcendent–and that here we might learn from them some lessons of life which we ourselves are but too apt to ignore or to despise." 11

Finally, in what could be a conclusive statement made by a European who had spent many years living and studying the Vedic culture and Sanskrit literature of early India, Max Muller said, "If I were to look over the whole world to find out the country most richly endowed with all the wealth, power and beauty that nature can bestow–in some parts a very paradise on earth–I should point to India. If I were asked under what sky the human mind has most fully developed some of its choicest gifts, has most deeply pondered on the greatest problems of life, and has found solutions of some of them which well deserve the attention even of those who have studied Plato and Kant–I should point to India. And if I were to ask myself from what literature we, here in Europe, we who have been nurtured almost exclusively on the thoughts of Greeks and Romans, and of one Semitic race, the Jewish, may draw that corrective which is most wanted in order to make our inner life more perfect, more comprehensive, more universal, in fact more truly human, a life not for this life only, but a transfigured and eternal life–again I should point to India."12

CHAPTER NOTES

1. Prof. A. R. Vasudeva Murthy and Prasun Kumar Mishra, Indian Tradition of Chemistry and Chemical Technology, Samskrita Bharati, Bangalore, India, August, 1999, pp. i-v.

2. Science and Technology in Ancient India, by Editorial Board of Vijnan Bharati, Mumbai, August, 2002, Foreword by B. V. Subbarayappa.

3. Niranjan Shah, Indian Tribune Newspaper, December 8, 2007.

4. Ibid.

5. Ibid.

6. Niranjan Shah, Indian Tribune Newspaper, December 1, 2007.

7. Niranjan Shah, Indian Tribune Newspaper, December 9, 2005.

8. India Tribune, June 1, 1991, Atlanta edition.

9. http://www.ox.ac.uk/images/maincolumn/9440

10. Max Muller, India: What can it teach us?, first published in 1883, published by Rupa & Co., New Delhi, 2002, pp. 46-47)

11. Max Muller, India: What can it teach us?, Longmans, Funk & Wagnalls, London, 1999, p. 22)

12. Max Muller, India: What can it teach us?, first published in 1883, published by Rupa & Co., New Delhi, 2002, p. 5)

[More information from www.stephen-knapp.com]

Northern Lights over Teepees


Northern Lights Over Teepees

These are spectacular and the teepees are so
pretty in the dark but, check out that thermometer!
(NORTHERN LIGHTS, YELLOW KNIFE, CANADA)

BELOW IS A FIRE RAINBOW – THE RAREST OF ALL NATURALLY OCCURRING

ATMOSPHERIC PHENOMENA. THE PICTURE WAS CAPTURED
ON THE IDAHO, WASHINGTON BORDER. THE EVENT LASTED ABOUT 1

HOUR. CLOUDS HAVE TO BE CIRRUS, AT LEAST 20 THOUSAND FEET IN THE AIR, WITH
JUST THE RIGHT AMOUNT OF ICE CRYSTALS AND THE SUN HAS TO HIT
THE CLOUDS AT PRECISELY 58 DEGREES
.

God’s handiwork..Beautiful sight!

Pass along for others to see!

Sunset at the North Pole
This is one of the rarest pictures that you will ever see in your life when the moon was closest to the earth. The date the picture was taken Thursday, the 13th of March 2011.

And, you also see the sun below the moon, an amazing photo and not one easily

duplicated.

The Chinese have a saying that goes something like this:
‘When someone shares something of value with you,
you have an obligation to share it with others!’

I just did.. Your turn…

Save on Medicines


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Dear All,

This is to inform you that, in our country medicines are  usually prescribed (by our great doctors) by brand name and not by the generics (ingredients). Hence we often end up paying more money for the same medicine.

Follow these few steps to know more and start saving on your medical bills. Refer to the attached screen shots.

1. Log on to www.medguideindia.com
2. Click on ‘Drugs’

3. Click on ‘Brand’

4. Type the brand name which you are using e. g., Metocard XL (50 mg). The site will also help you with drop down menu. Click on ‘Search’

5. Click on ‘Generics’. It will display the ingredients of the tablet.

6. Click on ‘matched brands’

7. Don’t be surprised to see that same drug is available at very low cost also. And that to by other reputed manufacturer. e. g., Metocard XL 50 is for Rs. 62.00 and the same drug by Cipla (Mepol) is available @ Rs. 7.00 only!
 
If you are convinced with the result, do forward this message to your near & dear ones.

~~~

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