Tuesday, 7 February 2012


6 comments Tuesday, 7 February 2012 |


Vasistha (Sanskrit: वसिष्ठ), in Hindu mythology is one of the Saptarishis (Seven Great Sages Rishi) in the seventh, i.e the present Manvantara,[1] and the Rajpurohit / Rajguru of the Suryavansha or Solar Dynasty. He was the mānasaputra ("mind son") of Brahma. He had in his possession the divine cow Kamadhenu, and Nandini her child, who could grant anything to their owners.

Arundhati (Sanskrit: अरुंधति) is the name of the wife of Vasistha. The star Mizar of the stellar constellation Ursa Major is thought of as Vasistha and the small one beside it, Alcor, as Arundhati.

Vasistha is credited as the chief author of Mandala 7 of the Rigveda. Vasistha and his family are glorified in RV 7.33, extolling their role in the Battle of the Ten Kings, making him the only mortal besides Bhavayavya to have a Rigvedic hymn dedicated to him. Another treatise attributed by him is "Vasistha Samhita" - a book on Vedic system of electional astrology.

* 1 Tales featuring Vasistha
o 1.1 The tale of Vasistha
o 1.2 The tale of King Dileepa
* 2 Yoga Vasistha
o 2.1 Context
* 3 Vashisht Ashram
* 4 Vasistha head
* 5 See also
* 6 References
* 7 Literature

Tales featuring Vasistha
Vasistha is featured in many tales and folklore, a few of which are briefly described below.

The tale of Vasistha
Sage Vasistha was Ram's guru and the Rajpurohit of "Ikshawaku" dynasty. He was a peace loving, selfless, intelligent and great Rishi. He had established Gurukula (residential college) on the banks of river "Saraswati", where he and his wife "Arundhati" were taking care of thousands of students stayed there and studied there and Vasistha Rishi was the chief principal.

Vasistha was the Sadguru of his time, possessing 20 "kala's" (divine arts) and had complete knowledge of the whole cosmos and the god. Many of his Shlokas are found in Vedas as well.

This tale tells of how Vasistha possessed a cow named Kamadhenu who could produce enough food for a whole army of troops instantly. The king Kaushika(later called as Vishwamitra), who visited Vasistha's hermitage, was very impressed with the cow and tried to take it away from Vasistha by force, but Kamadhenu/Nandini's spiritual power was too great for him. After being unable to conquer Kamadhenu/Nandini, Vishwamitra decided to acquire power himself through penance like Vasistha. He gained much power and many divine weapons from Lord Shiva. And once again he attempted to conquer Kamadhenu/Nandini. But even the divine weapons he acquired could not defeat the power of Kamadhenu/Nandini. Vishwamitra finally decided to become a Brahmarishi himself, and he renounced all his possessions and luxury and led the life of a simple forest ascetic.

The tale of King Dileepa
King Dileepa was a king of the Raghuvamsha dynasty. He had a wife named Sudakshina, but they had no children. For this reason, Dileepa visited the sage Vasistha in his ashram, and asked him for his advice. Vasistha replied that they should serve the cow Nandini, child of Kamadhenu, and perhaps if Nandini was happy with their service, she would grant them with a child. So, according to Vasistha, Dileepa served Nandini every day, and attended to her every need for twenty-one days. On the twenty-first day, a lion attacks Nandini. Dileepa immediately draws his bow and tries to shoot the lion. But he finds that his arm is paralysed and cannot move. He reasons that the lion must have some sort of divine power. As if to confirm this, the lion started to speak to him. It said that Dileepa had no chance of saving the cow because the cow was the lion's chosen meal. The lion tells Dileepa to return to Vashisht's ashram. Dileepa replies by asking if the lion would let Nandini go if he offered himself in Nandini's place. The lion agreed and Dileepa sacrificed his life for the cow. But then the lion mysteriously disappeared. Nandini explained that the lion was just an illusion to test Dileepa. Because Dileepa was truly selfless, Nandini granted him with a son.

Yoga Vasistha
Yoga Vasistha is a religious text that was narrated by sage Vasistha, one of the teachers of Rama, and written by Valmiki.

Prince Rama returns from touring the country and becomes utterly disillusioned after experiencing the apparent reality of the world. This worries his father, King Dasaratha. The King expresses his concern to Sage Vasistha, upon his arrival. Sage Vasistha consoles the king by telling him that Rama's dispassion (vairagya) is a sign that the prince is now ready for spiritual enlightenment. He says that Rama has begun understanding profound spiritual truths, which is the cause of his confusion and he just needs confirmation. Sage Vasistha asks king Dasaratha to summon Rama. Then, in the court of king Dasaratha, the sage begins the discourse to Rama which lasts for several days. The answer to Rama's questions forms the entire scripture that is Yoga Vasistha.

Vashisht Ashram
Brahmrishi Vashisht had an Ashram in Ayodhya that was spread over 40 acres of land. Today all that remains of it is a small ashram in about one fourth of an acre of land. The ashram has within it a well that is believed to be the source of the river Saryu. Brahmrishi Vashisht was the Guru of the Solar Dynasty. The King at that time was King Ishvaku who was the king of Ayodhya. He was a noble king and thought of the well being of his subjects. He approached Sage Vashisht telling him that the land had no water and requested him to do something to let the Kingdom have adequate water. Sage Vashisht performed a special prayer and the river Saryu is said to have started flowing from this well. Saryu is also known as Ishvaki and Vashishti. It is said that the well is connected underground with the river. Many spiritual people who visit this ashram find an enormous spiritual energy around this well. Some believe that this is one of the better spiritual tirth's in Bharat (India).

There is also another ashram past Rishikesh on the way to Kaudiyal on the Devprayag route that is known as Vashisht Guha Ashram. The ashram itself is located on the banks of the River Ganges and it is a very beautiful place. It has a cave with a Shiv Ling in it. The head of the ashram there is a monk of south Indian origin by the name of Swami Chetananda. There is also another small cave to the side facing the river.
[edit] Vasistha head

A copper item representing a human head styled in the manner described for the Rigvedic Vasistha has been dated to around 3700 B.C. in three western universities using among other tests carbon 14 tests, spectrographic analysis, X-ray dispersal analysis and metallography (Hicks and Anderson. Analysis of an Indo-European Vedic Aryan Head - 4500-2500 B.C., in Journal of IE studies 18:425-446. Fall 1990.). This indicates that some Rigvedic customs were already known at a very early time. The head was not found in an archaeological context, as it was rescued from being melted down in Delhi.

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Friday, 3 February 2012

Yellapragada Subbarao

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Yellapragada Subbarao

Born On: January 12, 1895
Born In: 
Bhimavaram, Andhra Pradesh
Died On: 
August 9, 1948

"You've probably never heard of Dr. Yellapragada Subba Rao, yet because he lived you may be well and alive today; because he lived you may live longer". A famous adage quoted by American author, Doron K. Antrim, Yellapragada Subbarao was one of those rare people who made several significant contributions, yet was not honored with a Nobel Prize or even its equivalents. With a large number of discoveries made over fifty years of his life, this magnificent and legendary scientist transformed science and changed the lives of the general public, only to be forgotten to date. Probably it was his distinguishing feature of keeping away from publicity that his excellence in the field of investigation was a secret from the world. However, with his discoveries and inventions of various antibiotics to save people from deadly diseases, this legend came into limelight, thereby allowing thousands of people to enjoy their lives day after day and year after year. 

Early Life 

Yellapragada Subbarao was born in a poor Telugu 6000 Niyogi Brahmin family in Bhimavaram district in Old Madras Presidency, now in West Godavari district, Andhra Pradesh. He was born as the fourth child amongst seven children to Y. Jagganatham and Y. Venkamma. Though his father worked as a revenue inspector, the family suffered from many  hardships of poverty due to the loss of several of his close relatives at a young age. As such, his schooling at Rajahmundry went through a traumatic phase, leading to his completion of matriculation in the third attempt from Hindu High School in Madras. He attained his intermediate education from Presidency College and took admission in Madras Medical College, his education being financed by his friends and Kasturi Suryanarayana Murthy. He later went on to marry Murthy's daughter.

During the freedom movement, Subbarao was so influenced by Mahatma Gandhi that he gave up using British goods and started wearing khadi surgical dress. This displeased his Anglican partial racist professor, M.C. Bradfield who qualified him for a lesser LMS degree instead of a full MBBS degree, although he fared well in all written examinations. He tried to get through Madras Medical service but failed. Hence, he started working as an anatomy lecturer in Dr. Lakshmipathi's Ayurvedic College at Madras. After gaining much interest in Ayurveda, he diverted his interest towards conducting his research in this field. But he was soon on track after he met an American doctor who was touring India for Rockefeller Scholarship. With financial support from his father-in-law Murthy and promise of support from Satyalinga Naicker Charities and Malladi charities, he sailed to Boston in US on October 26, 1922. 

Life in America 

Subbarao took admission in Harvard School of Tropical Medicine and on completing the diploma; he took up the job of a junior faculty member at Harvard. Living in poverty, he managed to work two or three jobs in shifts. This gained him appreciation from professors and won many scholarships. For the first time, Subbarao gained public attention with the discovery of the estimation of phosphorus in body fluids and tissues, along with Cyrus Fiske. This discovery came to be known as Fiske-Subbarao method, though it was technically named Rapid Calorimetric Method. Next came the accidental discovery of physiology in the body based on Adenosine Triphosphate and Phosphocreatine (ATP), which are the sources of energy in human body. With this, Subbarao's name was listed in the biochemistry textbooks in 1930s for the first time. In the same year, he obtained his PhD degree. He worked at Harvard till 1940 and later joined Lederle Laboratories, a division of American Cyanamid, as the Director of Research, after he was denied the post of a regular faculty at Harvard.

Contributions to Medicine 

At Lederle, Subbarao discovered many more antibiotics for a wide range of cures, other than the already discovered penicillin and streptomycin. His research led him to the discovery of polymyxin which is still used in cattle-feed. This led to laying the foundation for the isolation of vitamin B9, the antipernicious anemia factor, based on the work conducted by Lucy Wills in 1945. He applied different inputs given by Dr. Sidney Farber to develop an anti-cancer drug Methotrexate, one of the first cancer chemotherapy agents, which is still used worldwide. He was also credited with the discovery of drug Hetrazen, a cure for filariasis at Lederle. Today, this drug is the most widely used medicine for treating filariasis, including World Health Organization. Under his directorship, Benjamin Duggar gave birth to his discovery of the world's first tetracycline antibiotic, Aureomycin in the same year. This resulted as one of the largest distributed scientific experiments till date with American soldiers being asked to collect soil samples during World War II and deposit them at Lederle Laboratories for anti-bacterial agents from natural soil fungi. Another medicine that he discovered was Isonicotinic acid Hydrazide, an effective cure for tuberculosis.


With so many discoveries and developments to his credit, Subbarao never marketed his work and hence, was always left behind in terms of work recognition and appreciation. He always sat in the audience and had to be pushed to the stage by a colleague or a collaborator to take a bow as each of his researches was revealed to the public. Further, he was seen giving interviews to the press or visiting nations on lecture tours. When his colleague George Hitchings won the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, along with Gertrude Elion, in 1988, he stated that some of the works initiated by Subbarao had to be rediscovered for the simple  reason that his partner Fiske did not allow his contributions earn name and fame, probably out of jealousy. American Cyanamid honored Subbarao by naming a new fungus under his name "Subbaromyces splendens".

Personal Life 

On being persuaded by his family, Subbarao was married to his distant cousin Seshagiri, daughter of Kasturi Suryanarayana Murthy, on May 10, 1919. She belonged to Anaparthi vllage in East Godavari district of Andhra Pradesh. After the couple went to America, his wife gave birth to a son in a couple months. However, the son died at nine months due to the dreadful disease "Sappi".


Yellapragada Subbarao spent most of his career life in America without a green card. Thus, he remained an alien in America, although he performed several important medical researches during World War II. But he had always hoped of shedding the stigma of being an alien amidst people with whom he spent over 25 years. With this, he filed the "Declaration of Intention" to get the ruling of the Immigration and Naturalization Service that he has been legally admitted to United States. Despite getting the American citizenship, Subbarao was an Indian at heart and died as an Indian. On his death on August 9, 1948 in USA due to a massive heart attack, numerous obituaries appeared in Science, New York Times, New York Herald-Tribune, and several other newspapers and journals across the world in honor of this distinguished scientist. He was bestowed upon with "one of the most eminent medical minds of the Century" by Herald-Tribune.


Born on January 12 in Bhimavaram, Andhra Pradesh
Married Seshagiri on May 10
Went to America and took admission in Harvard School of Tropical Medicine
Discovered the role of ATP and obtained PhD degree
Joined Lederle Laboratories at Director of Research
Discovered world's first tetracycline antibiotic, Aureomycin and method to
             synthesize  folic acid
1948: Died on August 9 in America, aged 53

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Friday, 13 January 2012

short history of india

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short history of india
The History of India begins with the Indus Valley Civilization, which spread through in the north-western part of the Indian subcontinent, from 3300 BC to 1300 BC. This Bronze Age civilization collapsed at the beginning of the second millennium BC and was followed by the Iron Age Vedic period, which extended over much of the Indo-Gangetic plains and which witnessed the rise of kingdoms known as the Mahajanapadas.

In the fifth century, large parts of India were united under Ashoka. He also converted to Buddhism, and it is in his reign that Buddhism spread to other parts of the Asia. In the reign of Mauryas, Hinduism took shape fundamentally.

In the eight century Islam came to India and by the 11th century it firmly established itself in India. The North Indian dynasties of the Lodhis, Tughlaqs, and numerous others, whose remains are visible in Delhi and scattered elsewhere around North India, were finally succeeded by the Mughal empire, under which India once again achieved a large measure of political unity.

The European presence in India date to the seventeenth century, and it is in the latter part of this century that the Mughal empire began to disintegrate, paving the way for regional states. 

During the first half of the 20th century, a natiowide struggle for independence was launched by the Indian National Congress, and later joined by the Muslim League. The subcontinent gained independence from Great Britain in 1947, after being partitioned into the dominions of India and Pakistan. 

The History of India can be broadly divided into following three categories. 

  • Ancient India
  • Starting from Harappa Civilization in 3000 BC till Chola Dynasty in 985 AD.
  • Medieval India
  • Starting from Ghazni sacks Somnath Temple in 1026 AD till Siraj-ud-daulah captures Calcutta (Now Kolkatta) in 1756 AD.
  • Modern India
  • Starting from Battle of Plassy in 1757 Till Partition of India and Independence on 15 August 1947.

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Geography of India

Geography of INDIA
  • The Union of India is the seventh largest country in the world covering an area of 32,87,590 square kilometers and it is an important country of south Asia.
  • South Asia has a total area of about 4.488 million sq. km out of which India has the largest area (3.287 sq. km). It occupies 73.2 % of total area.
  • It is 4 times largest than Pakistan which is second largest in South Asia. India is 12 times largest that UK and 8 times largest than Japan.
  • The mainland stretches from latitude 8o4' north to 37o6' north and from longitude 68o7' east to 97o25' east of Greenwhich. The latitudinal and longitudinal extent of the country is almost same in degrees i.e. about 30 degrees.
  • The southernmost point in Indian Territory, (in Great Nicobar Islands) is the Indira Point (6o45’ ), while Kanyakumari, also known as Cape Comorin, is the southernmost point of Indian mainland. The country thus lies wholly in the northern and eastern hemispheres.
  • The 82o30' E longitude is taken as Standard Time Meridian of India, as it passes through the middle of India (from Naini, near Allahabad.) Hence Naini, Near Allahabad is the Standard Time of India.
  • The country is of a vast size and measures about 3,214 kilometers from north to south and about 2,933 kilometers from west to east.
  • Indian Standard Time:- GMT +05:30
  • Telephone Country Code:- +91
  • Coastline:- 7,516.6 km encompassing the mainland, Lakshadweep Islands, and the Andaman & Nicobar Islands.

India lies midway between the Far East and the Middle East. The trans-Indian Ocean routes connecting the industrially developed countries of Europe in the west and the underdeveloped countries of east Asia pass close by. India being centrally located in South Asia, she enjoys an advantageous-position for doing trade with Australia and the countries of Africa, the Middle East and the Far East. Thus, India dominates the Indian Ocean and commands an important strategic position. Her land frontier is 15,200 kilometers long. Her northern borderland, being mountainous, is very difficult to cross and it offers very few transport facilities for trade with the arid, almost barren and very sparsely populated regions of Central Asia. India has a coastline of 6,100 kilometers in the main land and she depends on the Indian Ocean for bulk of her foreign trade. The total length of the coastline of the mainland, Lakshadweep group of Islands and Andaman and Nicobar group of Islands is 7,519.5 km.


India Facts
Territorial Sea12 nm (nautical miles)
Contiguous Zone24 nm
Exclusive economic Zone200 nm
Continental Shelf200 nm or to the edge of the continental margin
Longest RiverGanga
Largest LakeLake Chilka
Highest PointMt. K2 (8611 m)
Highest Point of HimalayaKanchan Junga (8,598 m)
Lowest PointKuttanad (-2.2 m)
Northernmost PointSiachen Glacier near Karakoram
Southernmost PointIndira Point, Great Nicobar, Andaman & Nicobar Islands
Southernmost Point of India (Mainland)Cape Comorin (Kanya Kumari)
Westernmost PointWest of Ghuar Mota, Gujarat
Easternmost PointKibithu, Arunachal Pradesh
Highest AltitudeKanchenjunga, Sikkim
Lowest AltitudeKuttanad (Kerala)

Physical Boundaries :- The sub-continent is isolated in a remarkable way from the rest of Asia, making it a geographical unit. For example, barring the plateau of Baluchistan the two great ranges, namely, the Sulaiman and the Kirthar, cut it off from the west. Along the North the great mountains wall formed by the Hindu Kush, Karakoram and the Himalayas, cut it off the countries that lie beyond as the mountains are very high and difficult to cross. Similarly, the Southward offshoots of the Eastern Himalayas separate it from Burma.

Locational Advantage
:- India is a unique country as it is easily accessible to other parts of Asia, Africa, Europe and Americas. Its cultural influences have crossed its border from time immemorial and reached far off lands. It acts as a bridge head between developed and developing countries of the world and between the East and the West. India's strength lies in its geography as much as in its culture. Since the opening of the Suez Canal in 1869, distance between India and Europe has been reduced by 7000 kms. India enjoys a favourable ocean routes from East and South-East Asia and Australia to Africa and Europe pass through Indian Ocean. India is connected with the Cape of Good Hope and the Suez Canal. India can also reach Canada and the USA through the Strait of Malacca after crossing the Pacific Ocean.The Himalayas and other lofty mountains- Muztagh Ata, Aghil Kunlun Mountains to the north of Kashmir and south eastern portion of Zaskar mountains to east of Himachal Pradesh - from India's northern boundary, except in the Nepal region. She is adjoined in the north by China, Nepal and Bhutan. A series of mountain ranges in the east separate India from Burma. Also, in the east, lies Bangladesh bounded by Indian States of West Bengal, Assam, Meghalaya, Tripura and Mizoram. In the north-west, Afghanistan and Pakistan border on India. The Gulf of Mannar and the Palk Strait separate India from Srilanka.

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About India - general


India is a country in South Asia. It is the Seventh-Largest country by area and second-largest by population and most populous democracy in the world. 

About India. 

Map of India 

Home to the Indus Valley Civilization and a region of historic trade routes and vast empires, the Indian subcontinent was identified with its commercial and cultural wealth for much of its long history. Four major world religions, Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism and Sikhism originated there, while Zoroastrianism, Judaism, Christianity and Islam arrived in the first millennium CE and shaped the region's diverse culture. 

India got its independence on August 15th, 1947. It was the day when the Indians got liberated from the rule of the British. 

Agriculture is not only the dominant occupations of the people of India but is also one of the most important economic sectors for the country. 

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Thursday, 12 January 2012


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Sri Ramakrishna, who was born in 1836 and passed away in 1886, represents the very core of the spiritual realizations of the seers and sages of India. His whole life was literally an uninterrupted contemplation of God.
He reached a depth of God-consciousness that transcends all time and place and has a universal appeal.
Seekers of God of all religions feel irresistibly drawn to his life and teachings. Sri Ramakrishna, as a silent force, influences the spiritual thought currents of our time. He is a figure of recent history and his life and teachings have not yet been obscured by loving legends and doubtful myths. Through his God-intoxicated life Sri Ramakrishna proved that the revelation of God takes place at all times and that God-realization is not the monopoly of any particular age, country, or people. In him, deepest spirituality and broadest catholicity stood side by side. The God-man of nineteenth-century India did not found any cult, nor did he show a new path to salvation. His message was his God-consciousness. When God-consciousness falls short, traditions become dogmatic and oppressive and religious teachings lose their transforming power. At a time when the very foundation of religion, faith in God, was crumbling under the relentless blows of materialism and skepticism, Sri Ramakrishna, through his burning spiritual realizations, demonstrated beyond doubt the reality of God and the validity of the time-honored teachings of all the prophets and saviors of the past, and thus restored the falling edifice of religion on a secure foundation. Drawn by the magnetism of Sri Ramakrishna's divine personality, people flocked to him from far and near -- men and women, young and old, philosophers and theologians, philanthropists and humanists, atheists and agnostics, Hindus and Brahmos, Christians and Muslims, seekers of truth of all races, creeds and castes. His small room in the Dakshineswar temple garden on the outskirts of the city of Calcutta became a veritable parliament of religions. Everyone who came to him felt uplifted by his profound God-consciousness, boundless love, and universal outlook. Each seeker saw in him the highest manifestation of his own ideal. By coming near him the impure became pure, the pure became purer, and the sinner was transformed into a saint. The greatest contribution of Sri Ramakrishna to the modern world is his message of the harmony of religions. To Sri Ramakrishna all religions are the revelation of God in His diverse aspects to satisfy the manifold demands of human minds. Like different photographs of a building taken from different angles, different religions give us the pictures of one truth from different standpoints. They are not contradictory but complementary. Sri Ramakrishna faithfully practiced the spiritual disciplines of different religions and came to the realization that all of them lead to the same goal. Thus he declared, "As many faiths, so many paths." The paths vary, but the goal remains the same. Harmony of religions is not uniformity; it is unity in diversity. It is not a fusion of religions, but a fellowship of religions based on their common goal -- communion with God. This harmony is to be realized by deepening our individual God-consciousness. In the present-day world, threatened by nuclear war and torn by religious intolerance, Sri Ramakrishna's message of harmony gives us hope and shows the way. May his life and teachings ever inspire us.

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