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part eccentric ... part fun .... stubborn .. but not stuck up ... very open to different views, ideas and possibilities ... varied interests ... engineer ... mba ... trying-to-be-a-good-entrepreneur ... ex-software ... ex-quality ... ex-tobacco ... ex-alcohol ... trying-to-be-ex-cancer
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Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Bharat ek Khoj... Shristi sey pehley sat nahi thaa

Here's a blast from the past

One of my favourite TV serials, it was first telecast when I was in class 5 or 6 ... in those days , when history classes were the most boring things, it made history seem interesting to me ... Aptly named "Bharat ek Khoj" ... it was the story of Indian history, as told by Jawharlal Nehru in his book "Discovery of India"...

I especially liked the title tracks ... they had a distinct sound and aura about them

Yesterday ... I did some googling to dig out the mp3s and some info on the tracks ... The tracks are actually recitations of Sanskrit originals and Hindi adaptations of Nasadiya sukta and Hiranyagarbha sukta ... These Hymns (sukta) can be found in Mandal 10 (book 10) of Rig Veda.

Opening Track (click to hear/download the MP3)

(Sanskrit Rig Veda 10.129.1)
nāsadāsīn no sadāsīt tadānīṃ nāsīd rajo no vyomāparo yat |
kimāvarīvaḥ kuha kasya śarmannambhaḥ kimāsīd ghahanaṃ ghabhīram ||

(Hindi adaptation Rig Veda 10.129.1)
srishti se pehaley sat nahi thaa, asat bhi nahi
antariksh bhi nahi, aakaash bhi nahi thaa
chipa tha kya, kahan, kisney dhaka thaa
us pal to agam atal jal bhi kahan thaa

(Hindi adaptation Rig Veda 10.129.7)
srishti ka kaun hai karta, karta hai va akarta
oonche aakaash mey rehta, sada adhyaksh bana rehta
vahi such-much mey jaanta, ya nahi bhi jaanta
hai kisi ko nahi pata, nahi pata, nahi hai pataa, nahi hai pataa

Closing Track (click to hear/download the MP3)

(Sanskrit Rig Veda 10.121.1)
hiraṇyagharbhaḥ samavartatāghre bhūtasya jātaḥ patirekaāsīt |
sa dādhāra pṛthivīṃ dyāmutemāṃ kasmai devāyahaviṣā vidhema ||

(Hindi adaptation Rig Veda 10.121.1)
vah thaa Hiranyagarbh shristi sey pehley vidyamaan
vahi to saarey bhuut jaat ka swami mahaan
jo hai astitvamaan dharti aasmaan dhaaran kar
aisey kis devata ki upaasanaa karen hum havi dekar

(Hindi adaptation Rig Veda 10.121.5)
jiskey bal par taejomay hai ambar
prithvi hari-bhari sthaapit-sthir
swarg aur suuraj bhi sthir
aisey kis devata ki upaasanaa karen hum havi dekar

(Hindi adaptation Rig Veda 10.121.7)
garbh mey apney agni dhaaran kar payda kar
vyaapa thaa jal idhar-udhar neechey-ooper
jaga jo devoon ka ekmayv praan ban kar
aisey kis devata ki upaasanaa karen hum havi dekar

(Hindi adaptation Rig Veda 10.121.9)
ho.. srishti nirmaata swarg rachayta poorvaj raksha kar
satya dharm palak atul jal niyaamak raksha kar
phaili hain dishaayen baahu jaisi uski submey subpar
aisey hi devata ki upaasanaa karen hum havi dekar
aisey hi devata ki upaasanaa karen hum havi dekar

Now ... my Sanskrit is a bit rusty ... in fact my Sanskrit was always rusty ... never shined even a bit ... I could not graduate beyond "Ramah kandukain seh kridanti" and "Vrikshe patrani pattanti" ( I think these words are grammatically incorrect Sanskrit for "Ram's playing with the ball" and "Leaves fall from the tree") ... I have some questions which someone with better command of Sanskrit/Vedas can possibly answer - Can we call the couplets or verses (which are part of a sukta) in Rig Veda Shlokas? can we call them Mantras? are they called Rik ? ... What is the difference between a Shlok, a Mantr and a Rik ?

That's all for this post ... will soon write something on Sudoku


Mayank said...

Have you wondered how thousands of years before the birth of modern science, the writer of these verses was aware that at one time there was no atmosphere (vyom) and no water?!
Sadly religion has become a ritual for us. We dont stop and ponder on what it says.
Well, I am qualified to make just one correction-- Kridanti is bahuwachan, kridati is ekwachan.
Rest- will ask big boss.

Alam said...

I guess Rig Veda is one of the oldest treatise on philosophy.

Wiki says that Rig veda has a whole chapter about the mysterious Soma plant. Which incidentally finds a brother in the Zoroastrian divine plant Haoma. Interestingly Zoroastrians have some more similarity to the vedic traditions. It seems they also worship to Fire (not the fire, but worship involves the fire). I think this soma plant is interesting, someone should try to find it.

Back to the philosophy ... I see some traces of the "complimentary other" in Nasadiya Sukta ... Though the concept is more clear in yoni-lingam and Chinese yin-yang ... if you strech this philosophy a bit and try to bring parallel to modern thought, we will end up with things like matter-anti matter (particle anti-particle that physicist talk about) .. cool na

Nasadiya also seem to say that it may not be possible to ascertain everything correctly .... now stretch imagination and think of Heisenberg's uncertainty principle .. which says the same thing and also goes on to quantify it.

More interesting stuff -Hiranyagarbh (golden womb, primordial seed) from which everything is supposed to have been created ... stretch imagination again ...enter big-bang ... all creation form a very dense and hot state (you may call it the primordial seed)

Now there are lots of counter-arguments as well ... most pertinent seem to be these ones - There are more than 10,000 suktas ...but only few of them make the big revelations ... and the ones which do are revealed in such a way that we can see the truth only after somebody else has demonstrate d the phenomenon using modern methods of science (reminds me of Nostradamus's prediction)

What is lacking is the ability to consistently give correct predictions. Maybe our understanding of the texts is not good. Maybe the texts were deliberately designed to not reveal things very clearly ....the maybes can be too many .

My take is - since we cannot apply the principles of rational deduction, repeatability and verifiability ... and because we have little ability to make accurate predictions using the ancient texts as a basis, we should not attempt to treat the ancient texts as scientific knowledge (or hunt for science in them). Instead we can treat them as an enormous pool of wisdom which we can tap from time to time (mostly on issues of morality and human relationships)

Mayank said...

saadhu saadu again...
A correction in my earlier post...
The opening verse does not say there was no water. It says kimasid gahanam gabhiram (was there water..or infinite abyss?) So, its speculative rather than definitive.
Just imagine this person(s)..he was not educated (in contemporary sense)...what background information did he have?...He must have had a great imagination.
The most important ingredient in discovery is imagination. The best example in modern history is Einstein.. people are still trying to disprove (or prove) his theory.
Well.. fascinating.. thanks for the seed!

Alam said...

I agree it is fascinating ... which is why i put in time to read the translations of the both the sukta's from more than one sources and then tried to understand their meaning.

If for argument's sake we discard the divine revelation theory then one can't help but admire the sophistication of the society which wrote these.

If I let my imagination run wild then i see... advanced production methods... which allow a section of society to engage solely in tertiary activity like philosophical thinking... I imagine people dedicated to philosophical thoughts debating with their peers in public gatherings .. great thinkers collating, refining and adding to existing thoughts and passing this treasure of ideas and traditions down to subsequent generations orally ... till the day writing became prevalent (or some lazy student didn't want to spend time memorizing all the stuff and decided to write down things.... more like chits and furras of our examination days)

Imagination is soo much fun

rinku said...

O this was such a wonderful breakfast in the morning! I was on lookout for this sometime back and then it slipped out of mind until I saw it here...!

Wanted to save it to my desktop but couldn't figure it out how:(

Amit Gokhale said...

Excellent Sir !!!.. Bharat Ek Khoj was also my favourite.. Sundays at 11 am wasnt it ?. with Roshan Seth as the sutradhar.. Boy, those were the golden days of TV...

Alam said...

Folks these are the gyan-vachan on the the questions that I had asked in the blog. My Friend Mayank has sent them in a personal mail

"...Verses in vedas are called wrichaien aur unko rishiyon ne swarg se utara tha (Imagination?!). Shlokas are more related to modern texts (Ramayan, Gita). Rik means divine truth (Rigveda=rik+veda). Mantras are the "highlighted" portions of a text book. They are believed to have special powers. Any philosophical, scientific, divotional or thought provoking verses of vedas (or any other text) may be termed as mantras..."

Amit said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kamesh said...

Hi Alam,

How are things at your end?? Couldn't talk to you all these days.. lost my phone and your number too.. Found it on orkut again.. will call soon.

Coming to the post.. hats off to you!! you are simply amazing and the discussions are indeed enlightening.. I haven't done too much of reading on the subject matter but would love to join this discussion.. Completely agree with you that the ancient texts are an enormous pool of knowledge and wisdom, which can be referred to. Some of the topics may not be applicable to today's world but then that shouldn't be the reason to completely disregard them in our pursuit of "modernity".

Excellent stuff!!

And seems you are having a gala time with the media.. Pehle TV and then print.. Way to go.. but for the reason u desire:) All the best!!

Take Care and do keep me posted with your updates.. Our meeting is long overdue now..

Anonymous said...

alam bhai,
aplogies that i have not been in touch for a while..good to read that u are doing well.pass me ur handphone.will buzz u sometime.


Prabhat said...

Awesome post and the discussion too!!!

I remember one thing from college days.. "Kshama shobhti uus bhujang ko, jiske paas garal ho. Usko kyaa jo dant-heen, vish-heen, vineet saral ho."

Nothing related here, but just to touch the memory strings.

Coming back to the topic, few things I really liked:
1. Imagination is the key of inventions or discoveries.

2. Things we are not able to explain, we discard them thinking baseless. But, they are the base of great inventions/discoveries.

3. One of your comments mentioned about imagination on how these writings came into existence. I was readon this book "The Tao of Physics by Fritzof Capra. It has a things written about Buddhism. According to Buddhism, knowledge is to be realized, not read and gained. Once knowledge is written, it becomes limited and loses the imagination which is infinite. So, it is discouraged to write down the learning in life. Perhaps, this could be one of the reasons why there are things written in cryptic ways or perhaps not written also. (imagination !!!)

Very interesting thread indeed.

Prabhat said...

There is one correction from my side in your two sentences:

Vrikshat pattrani patanti.
Vrikshat - ek-vachan and 5th line in the table. I forgot what each line is called. But, remember that 5th line should be used when a separation activity is there.

Well, if gurus are there, please correct me if I am wrong.

Hobbes said...

Hi, nice blog. I was sent back to my years as a kid watching DD. Could you please tell me where to get the mp3 that you have uploaded on your blog? I want to download it.

pankaj said...

way to go man! i liked the program when i saw it play as a kid..and i utterly fell in love when the series was repeated a few years later. the program had class! and some of the dramatizations of history...the merchants...the markets etc..were sublimely funny as well!!

thanks for the clips!

vikas said...

Hi, I have compiled most of the available episodes videos of bharat ek khoj at one location..., please visit


Please report me, if there is wrong link.


Prajyot said...

Hi guys

Youll cann see the episodes For Bharat Ek Khoj on Youtube too.

I saw first three episodes and fell in love with history all over again.

jonh said...

Hello Friends I Have founded the great link on Bharat Ek Khoj on mystica music .we have seen the intresting television series on dordarshan ,Bharat Ek Khoj written by Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru , bharat ek khoj directed by shyam benegal
Hope you liked it

Ravi said...

Thanks for the MP3.. It was my favrouite serial too.
Ravi Iyer

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