Vedic Mathematics and
the Dharma that is Eternal
Aeon Centre of Cosmology
Tamil Nadu, South India
The article by Professor C.K. Raju that appeared in The Hindu on 3 September 2014, entitled ‘Nothing Vedic in Vedic Maths’, I feel requires a thoughtful response because it is entirely misleading. The learned professor is not to blame; he has taken up a subject that can only be rightfully analysed by a person who has realised the consciousness of the Vedic Rishis – and therefore what emanates from such a realisation in present times can in all honesty be termed Vedic. Naturally there has to be the necessary discrimination that allows one to pass judgement on the work of such enlightened souls.
This is what Swami Sri Bharati Krishna Tirtha-ji has done (originally published as Vedic Mathematics by the Banaras Hindu University in 1965). Incorporating Vedic Mathematics in school curricula is extremely important not because it brings out the attainments of the ancient Rishis, but rather it proves the eternal essence of the Dharma and that it is alive and well even in the midst of a contemporary society that appears to be far removed from that Source. It is important to do so for the fact that the Sanatana Dharma can thus be seen to be injecting life into the civilisation from time immemorial to the present. This needs to be brought to light and demonstrated to the youth.
One who has reached that level of unity consciousness – that is, who has tread the same path as the Rishis, please take note – will produce a body of higher knowledge that expresses something of the same swar-solar essence. But also to be noted is that Swar, because it is translated as ‘heaven’ has been misleading spiritual aspirants by creating the illusion of a goal in the Beyond, disconnected from our planetary base. Contrarily, Swar is not a plane, a dimension beyond but is simply a realisation of the Truth-Consciousness exactly as propounded in the Veda – particularly in the Rig Veda – i.e. solar. When the lid (Vritra, the coverer of the Sun) is removed from the face of the supramental Sun of Consciousness, one has realised Swar and one has established one’s place in the pantheon along with the Immortal Ones.
This is what Swami Bharati Tirtha-ji brings to our attention by his offering of Vedic Mathematics to India and the world. This can never be understood by scholars trained in the halls of contemporary academia and according to the organisers of the curricula in India’s educational institutions. At this critical point in her evolution, as a civilisation that still maintains a connection to the ancient Source, the task at hand is to incorporate a discipline such as Vedic Mathematics for the purpose of allowing the young of contemporary India to appreciate the ancient tradition of renewal and thus to escape the trap of fossilisation that has engulfed humanity by the emergence of various brands of fundamentalism that contradict the Sanatana Dharma.
Vedic Mathematics, as the discipline has reached us through the genius of the Swami-ji, is an example of how to escape that plunge into fundamentalism. But mistakes are made when this pathway is not accurately understood and deviations are sought to be brought into the curricula, an example of which is Vedic Astrology; it was introduced into higher educational institutions by the earlier NDA regime.
Lamentably, there is nothing truly vedic in that brand of astrology; rather, it is actually un-Vedic and this can be easily proven by facts, such as science demands. Astrology became un-Vedic precisely when scholars/astronomers took it upon themselves to ‘set things right’ in astrological calculations. Their claim is that astrology is mere pseudo-science and is therefore superstition. But the truth of the matter is that astronomers are the direct cause of the ancient Vedic art tumbling into the abyss of superstition by unknowingly upholding the 13th-century statement of Al Biruni in his book India, ‘The solstice has kept its place, but the constellations have migrated, just the very opposite of what Varaha has fancied.’ (India, II, p.7.)*
Thus, post-Independence astronomers took up the advice of Al Biruni and also proclaimed that ‘the zodiac has moved on’ and is ‘no longer where it once was’, thereby setting firmly in place the misconceived Nirayana system of astrological computation for horoscopes and all temple rituals. The practical result is that the Equinoxes and Solstices, firm foundation of the art of the Sacred from the Vedic Age and still the foundation of temple constructions, have been eliminated as the fourfold basis of astrological computations and temple rituals by a displacement in time (and astrology is a study in the application of Time) of what should be the most important festival in the Hindu Calendar: the Makar Sankranti, or the entry into the sign of the zodiac known universally as Capricorn. This entry MUST coincide with the December Solstice, the shortest day of the year in the northern hemisphere. As it now stands (and certainly this is revealing of the mire into which India has been submerged, causing a tamasic ‘tardiness’ in response to matters Vedic) that most important of all festivals, a date of such immense significance in the Veda and the Epics is today celebrated 23 days after entry into Makar – or Capricorn, known to astrologers throughout the world as the zodiacal ruler of India. If so-called Vedic Astrology had been called Post-Vedic, it would have been correct and its inclusion in the curricula would have been acceptable. But since it is not and continues to be presented to students as ‘Vedic’, it is not only incorrect but an outright falsehood. We have science and scholars to thank for this aberration that affects 80% of the population of the subcontinent, as well as the pundits who have not given deep thought to the sanctity of their trade that demands the utmost dedication to Truth.
There is another area of the Vedic legacy that can prove the eternal character of the Dharma, and therefore the precise way in which it escapes fossilisation. This concerns the vedi, or Vedic Altar, seat of the ancient Sacrifice. The new Indo-Centric Cosmology provides factual proof of how updating is accomplished in this pre-eminently Vedic area of the Dharma. In early January of 2015, an example of updating the Vedi will be presented as an offering of Aeon Centre of Cosmology to the Indian public at the Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts in New Delhi. It is an exhibition based on the vision of a contemporary Seer of the highest order, the Mother, Sri Aurobindo’s co-worker. Similar to the renewal accomplished by Vedic Mathematics, the Mother has provided the nation with the new Vedi for the new Age. This is by far the most significant example of just how the Dharma eternally renews itself.
Ganga Devi on her Vahana Makar, the Crocodile
* Quoted in the Introduction to M. Ramakrishna Bhat’s translation of Varamihira's Brihat Samhita, Part 1 (published by Motilal Banassidas) 1981.