I welcome you all on behalf of the Rashtriya Veda Vidya Pratishthan.
The subject of the National Seminar, "Veda and Jyotish" is significant from many points of view. But this significance has been enhanced by the fact that Hon'ble Chief Justice, Shri Ranganath Mishra, has so kindly agreed to preside over this function and to deliver the Presidential Address. Justice Shri Mishraji is not only a great scholar but he symbolises the profound culture of India. His dedication to Sanskrit is very well-known, and as we look at him, we feel that in presence of the ancient but ever-young Manishi, dhira, vira, indeed, a Rishi. We feel Indian Culture vibrantly alive in his personality and he has natural atmosphere of uprightness, purity and clarity. We are very grateful for his presence amidst us, and I extend warmest welcome to him.
We are also grateful to Dr. B.V. Raman for having taken the trouble of coming here from Bangalore and to give inaugural address. Jyotish and Dr. Raman are so identified with each other in our minds that his presence amidst imparts to our seminar a sense of authenticity, centrality and inevitability. If Jyotish has gained scientific and scholarly standing today in the country, it is because of his life-long labour and his voluminous writings on Astrology and its relationship with Veda, Upanishads, Indian scholarly literature, and contemporary scientific research. All lovers of Indian Culture are grateful to him for his contributions to Jyotish and its development in the context of the contemporary needs of human welfare.
I am also grateful Pandits, Scholars, Astrologers, Scientists: Administrators, Public Personalities. Diplomats, and others Lawyers, Doctors, Engineers, Teachers and lovers of Sanskrit and Indian Culture who have assembled here response to our invitation. To all of them, I extend hearty and warm welcome.
The greatest achievement described in the Veda is that of the discovery of the Mahas Panthah, ritasyapanthah.
The Rigveda declares in 1.71
Our Fathers by their words broke the strong stubborn places:
they shattered the mountain rock with their cry:
they made in us a path ....
and discovered the Day and the Sun-world.*
*वीलु चिद् दृल्हा पितरो न उक्थै: अद्रिं राजन् अंगिरसो रवेण।
चक्रु: दिवो बृहतो गातुम् अस्मे अह: स्व: विविदु: केतुम् उस्रा:।। ऋग्वेद 1.71
This is the path that leads us from Falsehood to the Truth, from Darkness to Light, from Death to immortality. As sung in Rigveda X,53
सतो नूनं कवय: सं शिशीत वाशीभिर्याभिरमृताय तक्षथ।
विद्वांस: पदा गुह्यानि कर्तन येन देवासो अमृतत्वमानशु:।। ऋग्वेद 10:53
O Seers. . .
Weave an inviolate work,
Become the human being
Create the divine race ...
Shapen the shining spears
With which you cut the way to that which is Immortal.
If we study Astrology properly, we find that it is this very discovery of mahas panthah: the attainment Immortality that is demonstrated as the ultimate goal of every individual life and collective life. The Sun, the Supra Supramental light, Savitri, casts its light on the moon, the mind, and lifts up man, the Jataka, from the inconscience of Rahu through the rigid and testing law of life that is death, symbolised by Shani, crossing through the vivacious and prosperous, auspicious but often ruinous Shukra, fortifying the valourous energy of Man by means of effort that attempts to cross human boundaries, which arrives at the skies of intelligence, often impotent but often wise, which can be effective only by the inner soul, jiva, and its luminous work, Brihaspati, capable of shooting beyond to the Ketu of Nirvana, but fulfilling itself by returning to the original Sun, Surya, where there everlasting Day and undying Immortality. In varying degrees and at various stages, individuals stand in this mahas panthah, and Jyotish tells us where exactly they stand, and what journey they have to cross and through what obstacles and what aids, and how the goal can be approached through the right stages. The end and the goal that Jyotish envisages is what is contained in the Vedic knowledge, namely, the
attainment of Immortality which is even beyond Moksha. For Moksha liberates us from the bounds of bodily life, but immortality makes even the bodily life yield to the light the everlasting Day.
This is the call of the Veda, this is also the call of Jyotish. Jyotish tells us in detail the path, its various fortunate and unfortunate curves, the interventions of the Hand that protects and uplifts, and illuminations that liberate and make us perfect.
Ultimately, Jyotish makes us pray, as in the Veda:
अग्ने नय सुपथा राये अस्मान्विश्वानि देव वयुनानि विद्वान् ।
युयोध्यस्मज्जुहुराणमेनो भूयिष्ठां ते नम उक्तिं विधेम ॥ १८ ॥ ( Ishopanishad)
I am happy that eminent persons representing public life have also joined us, and I welcome them.
I am happy the eminent scholars of Veda & Jyotish have come to participate in the seminar, those who have devoted their life to the search of the riddle of life and to its solution in the light of the Sun, where there is no Night where there is everlasting day. I extend my warmest welcome to them and offer to them my choicest greetings.
Once again, I welcome you all.