Real progress and welfare of a country or a civilization depend upon both Gyana (knowledge) and Vigyana (science). The same is also true for happy upliftment of a person or a society. Lack or negligence on either front results in degradation and decline. Gyana means that which generates and expands enlightenment, discerning wisdom, farsightedness, benevolence, generosity, justice, integrity, alertness and sense of responsibility. Vigyana is that which initiates and promotes materialistic progress, capabilities, talents, power, resources, prosperity and worldly success. Mutual coherence and simultaneous growth and expansion of both Gyana and Vigyana is what accounts for truly fulfilling and durable progress and ascent of life. Development of both had flourished in India in the Vedic Age. This is why Vedic era is glorified as Golden Age in the history of mankind.
Be it the lives of common people or of the elite, royal activities or simple chores in the ashrams of the rishis, a suitable balance of both gyana and vigyana was present everywhere in the Vedic Indian society. The ashrams of the rishis were eminent centres of origin and dissemination of sagacious knowledge and development of scientific methods and talents. Disciples used to acquire in-depth knowledge of different aspects of life, Nature and the Soul. At the same time, they also used to get practical training in different forms of arts and different disciplines of natural sciences and skills. These centers of value-based education used to provide chiseled refinement and ideal transformation of the personalities of the young disciples, who later on used to implement the principles of gyana and vigyana on different fronts of personal and social life. The citizens of this land used to be devoted to acquisition of gyana for mental, intellectual and spiritual enlightenment; and vigyana for worldly progress and strength. This is why ancient Indian society was enlightened, wise, strong and prosperous.
The Shastric scriptures mention in detail the supernatural potentials, tools, aircrafts, weaponry, etc that had been developed and used in ancient India. The rishis used to be engaged in devout spiritual practices and trance-meditation for soul-realization and refinement of the sublime environment for the welfare of all living beings. Yet, they also possessed supramental scientific talents and capabilities like ashtasiddhis, navanidhis, using which they could acquire supernatural successes including space-travel and extraterrestrial communication, and generate any amount and kind of resources as and when they wished provided they were genuinely required for collective good. The inner selves of the rishis, accomplished yogis of yore, were always engrossed in devotion of God, but they could also awaken sublime intelligence and attain immense inner powers and supernormal talents by ascetic tapa
and sadhanas. Their lives were living testimonies of the fact that God could be realized by bhavana (pure sentiments in the depth of heart) and siddhis
could be attained by sadhana.
The conceptions of gyana and vigyana seem to have changed today. Today’s gyana is confined to intellectual acquisitions through visible facts or otherwise perceivable experiences. Laboratory instruments and methods based on concurrent logic and established theories of modern sciences are governing the domains of vigyana today.
The scientific research and technological developments are interwoven and both are based on use of matter in one form or the other from nano-particles to gigantic structures; or extraction, transformation and exploitation of energy through material media. But this approach is highly expensive. Moreover, it largely demands excessive use of natural resources and is not always eco-friendly. The discoveries and inventions of erudite scientists, professors and researchers have made enormous contributions to the advancement of scientific knowledge and its technological applications in the physical domains of life. But this kind of knowledge does not help elevation of virtues, human-values, or generation of generous sentiments, altruistic attitude, etc. Hence this kind of knowledge, howsoever advanced it may be, does not contribute to "gyana". On the contrary, the scientific and technological advancement has, to a great extent, added to people’s excessively comfort-driven and artificial life-style and thus, though indirectly, whetted their selfish, extravagant, arrogant, pompous attitudes and cunning cleverness.
Now if we look in terms of vigyana, then also we find its achievements mired in controversies, lacunae and setbacks and also its negative impact on the quality of life. Scientific progress or technological innovation in one direction produces obstructions or hazardous risks in the other. For instance, use of chemical fertilizers does increase agricultural production in the short run, but the crops produced thereby contain several chemicals and unnatural substances that are harmful to health; also, the use of synthesized chemicals gradually diminishes the fertility of the soil. Technological advancement and associated industrial growth have no doubt gifted us with excellent accessories ranging from ultra-fast communication, transportation facilities, medical diagnostic tools and treatment, luxurious living standard and what not... But the fact that they have, in more than one ways, polluted and toxicated air, water and natural environment of life up to an alarming level is also very well known to all of us. The excessive consumption of natural resources has posed threats of another kind.
Savants, including front-line scientists, have expressed global concerns due to the most likely exhaustion of natural sources of fuels like coal, crude oil, petrol, etc. What will happen to our vehicles and rapid movements then? Electricity can’t be a substitute because already there is scarcity in its production and supply in most parts of the world. Dwindling water resources have already annulled hydro-energy-based production of electricity; moreover, the use of nuclear energy beyond the safer limits, risks the deadly threat of radioactivity… In other words, the unilateral progress of science in the Modern Age has been contrary to what vigyana is supposed to be.
The roots of gyana and vigyana in the Vedic times were very different from today. Both the streams today have emanated from, and remained confined to, the gross manifestation and materialistic existence of Nature. The studies, experiments, inventions and growth of gyana and vigyana in the Rishi-Age had evolved from the realizations of the sublime world of consciousness-force. In simple terms, the foundational basis today is materialism
whereas that of the Vedic Age it was spirituality.
Modern science has now recognized that whatever is perceivable in the gross domains of Nature is negligible as compared to what exists in its subtle, invisible, extrasensory expansion. For example, the existence of million gallon of water in some part of the earth indicates the presence of several billion times larger amounts of water in the form of vapors or subtler particles in the sky everywhere. Modern science has also accepted the ancient concept that mental determination and thoughts are also sources of energy, which can be used to generate ’magnet’ - like force of attraction. Further, it also needs asserting that the sublime and invisible world of Nature might be the genesis and the controllers of its gross manifestations. The Vedic rishis had realized this scientific fact and therefore chosen sublime realms of Nature as the basis of their research.
They had found that a miniature universe, both in terms of atomic and subtler particles and sublime energies of Nature is present in the human body and mind. They devised specific sadhana
procedures and practices to awaken the hidden potentials and unlimited energies in their own bodies and minds. This spiritual approach to vigyana also enabled them to extract and use at will, the material powers and vital energies in the cosmos as well. Most remarkable was the fact that their awakened inner self had always inspired an altruistic and sane application of vigyana in total harmony with Nature. Their gyana was attained by a scientific approach to spirituality.
Ultimate enlightenment through the spiritual sadhanas of Gayatri Mantra
and altruistic experiments of Yagya were the paramount source of their inner awakening and enlightened acumen and consequent comprehensive approach and ideal accomplishments in gyana and vigyana. "Gayatri" and"Yagya" are therefore revered as the divine parents of the Vedic Culture. Gayatri
is the eternal mother of gyana and Yagya is the origin of vigyana. The meaning and implications of each of the 24 words of the Gayatri Mantra
encompass all the knowledge to inspire and guide an aspirant on the noble path to self-awakening and universal well-being. The sonic structure of each of its syllables and their collective configuration in this great mantra
is unique and most powerful according to the subtle science of Shabda
As experienced and expounded by the great Vedic Rishis and the saints and demonstrated in the lives of sages and spiritual yogis of the later times as well, the japa-sadhanas of Gayatri
Mantra, if practised as per the scriptural guidelines, gradually awaken the sublime force of the inner self and extrasensory potentials hidden in the human body and mind. Every sincere devotee of Gayatri Sadhana
can experience its beatifying effects in terms of sharpening of discerning intellect, increase in self-confidence and fearlessness and gradual rise in spiritual virtues. Immediate benefits in the gross spheres of life are that one gets the light and courage to solve the problems and complexities of personal and familial life and excels in the progress of life in the righteous direction resulting in happiness, peace and self-esteem.
Yagya represents the philosophy of altruistic deeds. The procedure of yagya is derived from remarkable scientific insight. It enables constructive use of the power of sound (generated by the chanting of the vedic mantras during yagya), thermal energy (of the sacred fire of yagya) and expanded energies and properties of sublimated and subtlized herbs, medicinal woods and specific healthy natural substances (sacrificed in the yagya-fire). Whatever is sacrificed in the holy fire of yagya is subtlized, expanded and spread in all directions. What could be a better example and practical illustration of an active and altruistic life?
The special inverted pyramid shaped designs of the yagyakunda (fire-pit for yagya), the process of slow combustion and sublimation inside it, the nature of herbal preparations used for yagya, the chanting patterns and types of mantras etc, all are very scientific and are chosen in specific combinations for specific effects of yagya. The ionic fields created by the electrolytic decomposition and/or transformation of specific herbs in yagya-fire and the subtlized particles and compounds of the herbal preparations released in the fumes/vapors of yagya expand with the sonic waves generated by the chanting of mantras. This has multiple positive consequences such as soothing and energizing the minds of people around; vigorous medicinal effects by inhalation of yagya-fumes/vapors/gases; removal of germs, bacteria, viruses and toxicity in the surrounding area and purification of the environment.
The gross as well as the subtle energy of mantra
and yagya together are said to have significant effect on Nature’s energy fields. Thus, if a yagya for specific effects is performed strictly as per the scriptural disciplines and guidelines, it does help in bringing about favorable effects of Nature in terms of rainfall, good vegetation and agricultural production, enhanced milk production from milch-cattle, etc in specific areas where this yagya is performed. Several successful experiments on agnihotra
(yagya) have been reported in recent times in these respects. Therapeutic healing and growth of vital energy and vigor of those who regularly participate in suitable yagyas for such effects for prescribed periods of time have been authentically verified in some scientific laboratories, too.
The power-currents generated by performance of yagya are also said to have elevating effects on the mental and emotional states of the participants and on the sublime ambience. This is perhaps the reason why yagya is regarded so sacred and is performed in every important Hindu - religious ceremony and on the occasion of religious festivals. It also happens to be an integral part of each of the sixteen Vedic sacraments performed at significant transitional stages of life from pre-natal stage till death. The "akhand agni" lighted at the time of birth as per the Hindu customs is yagya symbolizing the continuity of life; funeral after death is also performed as a yagya in which the gross body, the gift of Nature, is sacrificed in the fire to return it in its basic constituents (the pancha tatvas) - to the Nature. Yagya is thus the key to the grand vigyana of wellbeing and auspicious welfare and progress of the gross physical, materialistic and emotional spheres of life and healthy sustenance of the ecosystem
From our highest Good, we need to revive the global approach to gyana and vigyana in order to revive the divine culture
on the earth. The divine inspirations and powers of Gayatri
and Yagya Sadhanas would enable us to accomplish this and usher into the new bright era of global peace, prosperity and happiness.
devout spiritual endeavors with ascetic disciplines; self-refinement and self-transformation through self-determination and efforts.
- supernatural potentials and miraculous attainments.
3. Shabda Brahm
the omnipresent perpetual vibration or sublime sound generated by the eternal impulse of cosmic consciousness.
repeated rhythmic enunciation with meditation.