Nature’s wrath is currently wreaking havoc on the entire planet. This situation is not only proving to be detrimental for the human race, but it is also causing severe harm to other sentient species. This undesirable state of affairs is largely caused by human beings, who have broken the cosmic laws and caused environmental degradation to an unprecedented level. All human efforts to preserve Nature in the name of planting trees, restraining the use of plastic and opting for eco-friendly products have had little impact on the health of the planet. The need of the hour, therefore, is total change, wholesome approach, holistic view, and organismic well-being.
The Vedas are the world’s oldest texts. They focus on a natural code of conduct and an all-encompassing cosmic law that encompasses every spec of the universe, from a tiny ant to the massive galaxies. In contrast to Western and Abrahamic thought, where the environment is viewed as isolated and human-centric, the Vedic perspective on environment is devoid of any splits. Each life is wholesome and is a vital part of the ‘One Whole Reality.’ This thought makes Bhārata as not only an environmentally protective but also an environmentally conscious nation that propagates ‘Unity in Diversity’. In this regard the Bhagvadgītā states,
I equivalently indwell in all creatures. I have no likes or aversions towards any life form.[i]
Further, the Īśopaniṣad asserts:
The entirety of cosmos is pervaded by Īśvara who is the ‘Self’ of all movable and immovable entities.[ii]
It is therefore clear that the entire cosmos is a manifestation of the non-dual ‘Ultimate.’ The Vedas propound that the Divine not only envelops the entire cosmos, but also indwells all entities and manifests Himself as the dog, the sparrow, the Ganges, and the entire material and immaterial world. The following verses shed light on the same,
I am One and I become many [iii]
That Ultimate Truth is ‘One’ known by the wise as many [iv]
As white light passes through a prism and splits into seven colours, the Divine, who is non-dual, appears as assorted names and forms as a result of Māyā.[v] Therefore, according to the Vedas, ‘Environment’ should be understood with the connotation of ‘Brahman’[vi]. Thus, there exists unity among all entities that are born and nourished in the compassionate lap of ‘Mother Nature’.
The term “Environment/Nature” must not be limited to trees, animals, birds, rivers and mountains, rather “It” is internal, external, individual, cosmic, exclusive and non-exclusive. It is to be recognised that it is human’s inner contamination, unrest, and mental greed that manifests as external pollutions, and disharmony. ‘Mother Nature,’ nurtures every being till we respect Her. However, if we try to exploit Her, She responds internally as metal stress, physically as diseases, environmentally as natural calamities, and universally as cumulative disharmony. Outer acts of environmental protection can aid us in our mission to support the cosmos, but they are far from being a permanent cure for cosmic discord. In this regard, Svāmī Vivekānanda aptly states,
“The miseries of the world cannot be cured by physical help alone. Unless a man’s nature changes, physical needs will continue to arise and miseries will continue to be felt. No amount of physical help will cure these miseries. Ignorance is the mother of all evils and of the misery that we see. Let man have light, let them be pure, spiritually strong and educated; then alone misery will cease. We may convert every house of the country into a charitable asylum and fill the land with hospitals but the misery will continue to exist until man’s character changes”[vii]
It is essential to recognise that each life and form has a crucial role to play in the grand scheme of the universe. Realisation of non-duality with all lives leads to harmony in the truest sense declares the Yajurveda,
He who sees the Self in all and all in the Self has no sense of revulsion by the reason of the vision of non-duality. When all beings have been realized as the ‘Self’ there remains no delusion and no sadness.[viii]
The Vedas regard ‘Nature’ as all-encompassing and holds an intimate relationship with It. They refer to ‘It’ as not only the ‘Highest Reality,’ but also revere Its various manifestations (sun, moon, rivers, birds, etc.) as mother, father, protector, friend, son, and more. ‘Environment’ is that ‘Unitary Principle’ which the Vedas have spoken about repeatedly. All beings of the universe are indwelled, saturated and are that very ‘Principle’ which they mistakenly consider as distinct. This non-dual Vedic vision elevates ‘Mother Nature’ to the highest plinth. As a result, the Vedas instruct us to work for the good of all beings instead of being limited to only the human race. Let us now consider some Vedic averments about Environmental harmony.
The Divine Pan͂camāhābhūtas
‘Bhūmi’ is depicted by the Vedas as a compassionate, benevolent, nurturing, and bountiful ‘Mother’ who nurtures all creatures without discrimination. She is revered, and hymns of Her majesty adorn the entire body of the Vedas. She is the one who bestows cosmic peace and prosperity. Her grandeur can be understood by the following verses,
The ‘Earth’ just like the Mother Cow, confers upon all the creatures the gifts of delight. She nurtures and provides for all.[ix] May Goddess Earth, the nourisher of all beings eradicates all evils and lead us to the highest state of being.[x]
‘Āpaḥ’ is regarded by the Vedas as ‘Divine’ ‘Life’, ‘Nectar’ and as the finest of ‘Physicians’. It is no wonder that all important pilgrimages were set up near water bodies. The Vedas declare water as the best of medicines.[xi] In Its absence no medicine can work and it is the greatest of healers.[xii] It can cure all maladies including genetic and cardiovascular disorders. In this regard the Vedas state:
May the ‘Divine Waters’ protect us and flow down on us for quenching our thirst and lead us to peace and perfection. You are You are the Mighty One.[xiii] We seek your healing powers.[xiv]
Unfortunately, man has exploited water bodies in the most heinous manner. Water pollution causes a variety of problems, including the degradation of aquatic ecosystems caused by excessive use of chemicals and pathogens, plastic debris, sewage pesticides, industrial leaks, and hydraulic fracturing, to name a few. Water pollution has damaged the health and beauty of the water bodies, the well-being of aquatic species and the overall health of the planet. It has also negatively impacted the quality of plants, trees, and crops. It is to be remembered that in the wellness of life-enriching waters bodies lies the wellness of the entire cosmos.
‘Vāyu’ is the life force, and the cosmic breath. The Vedas contain a number of hymns that extol ‘It.’ The meaning of the word ‘Vāyu’ as the ‘Uniting Ultimate Principle’ has been expounded in the Śatapathabrāhmaṇa,
The entire universe is woven in a string and that string is ‘Vāyu’.[xv]
Therefore, the word ‘Vāyu’ has a broader meaning and is only casually translated as ‘Air’ which has a much-limited connotation. ‘Vāyu’ is itself living and thus ‘It’ becomes the essence of life. Unfortunately, the human race has done incalculable harm to ‘It’ while shrouded in ignorance. Polluted air not only endangers humans, but it also harms animals, birds, and puts undue strain on trees and plants. Every year, thousands of humans, animals, and birds die prematurely as a result of air pollution.[xvi]
‘Ākāśa’ and sound are inextricably linked, and this is the source of noise pollution. Taittiryopaniṣad (Yajurveda) discusses two types of Ākāśa i.e., one within the body and one outside of it.[xvii] However, human has not only polluted his inner space but is going on polluting the outer spaces. All of this has not only added to the planet’s pollution but in his desire to conquer outer space, he has added to space debris. The Yajurveda advises the human race:
Do not destroy the space [xviii]
‘Agni’ is both divine and purifying. ‘It’ is the destroyer of greed, passion, and ignorance on a philosophical level. At a mundane level, it is the destroyer of negativities and diseases. In a spiritual sense, It burns away selfish desires and leads to a state where cosmic welfare becomes one’s vision and mission. According to the Yajurveda’s Navagṛhasūktam:
The light of wisdom Agni! Let us be vigilant while we work for ourselves and for all creatures of the cosmos. May we all remain together, even with the departed souls of our forefathers with whom you connect us like a thread.[xix]
Therefore, it is clear that Fire is meant for the benefit of all. Unfortunately, humans manipulate it in the most atrocious manner. Fire is used to burn down forests and various animals that live in them in order to capture land for the sake of high-end infrastructure. It is used to incite riots and destroy national property, as well as to burn a young girl for dowry. All of these crimes sprout from tainted internal states, and as long as we do not burn the dirt that we hold within, we will go on destroying the world.
The Celestial Plant Kingdom and Forests
The Vedic verses revere forests, trees, plants and herbs as conscious divine beings that provide Amṛta (oxygen), Ouśadhi (herbs), Anna (food), Phala (fruits), Puṣpa (flowers), Cāyā (shade), Saundarya (beauty) and Jīvan (life). Tree are encrusted with divinity and so, the five parts that they have – Jada (roots), Prakāṇda (trunk), Śākhā (branches), Patra (leaves), Phala (fruits) and Puṣpa (flowers) are a boon to the universe. They are called Viśadūśaṇī’[xx] because they are the destroyers of poison (pollution). Therefore, uprooting a tree means uprooting the entire cosmos, and cutting down a tree means cutting down one’s own survival. In this regard the Vedas make it clear,
Extend no violence towards Trees.[xxi] Do not cut or uproot them for they are the destroyers of pollution [xxii] Forests, trees, herbs and mountains are said to be the protectors of all.[xxiii]
The Ṛigveda further highlights,
‘The Divine trees and curative herbs appeared three Yugas before the emergence of Deities and billions of years before the origin of any other being. The ‘Divine’ manifested as trees, herbs and plants at various places on the earth. These Godly appearances were meant to destroy pain, suffering, ailments and heal wounds of all living creatures. They further remove infections and weakness. They have a positive and wholesome effect and lead to complete wellness. Trees and herbs nurture, protect and bless all lives with material and spiritual advancement like a mother and thus they are also referred to as ‘Mātraḥ’. The Holy Trees and plants lead us to Mokṣa by destroying diseases, misery and take us beyond the realm of birth and death. Trees and herbs have supreme powers and those creatures who submit to them are bestowed with lifelong wellness. Without any discrimination between man and animal, these saintly trees and herbs have equally blessed all beings.[xxiv]
The Vedas also declare that the plant kingdom is conscious and sensitive, like humans and animals. They are born, they die, they experience pain-pleasure, they sleep, they are susceptible to illness, and they bleed when they are broken, uprooted, or cut down.[xxv] The Mahābhārata in this regard states:
“Trees and plants drink water through their roots and make their food through sunlight. They digest the food due to the presence of Vāyu and Agni that is within them. When they are injured, they experience unimaginable pain. They are affected by pleasant and foul smells. They do fall sick and feel weakness and wellness. A creeper exactly knows how and where to climb, this proves that they have a divine vision (in Indian philosophy vision and sight are separate. A being may not have sight which is connected to material eyes but it has a vision which is connected to the inner states of being). Despite being physically strong, trees are extremely sensitive to weather, kind-harsh words, pure-impure thoughts, good-bad touch’.[xxvi]
‘Vana’ is home to millions of celestial beings. Forests add to the aesthetics of the planet. The Vedas, in fact, see the entire universe as a forest in which all beings must live according to their Dharma. However, today, man has turned a deaf ear to the Vedic voices. Deforestation has resulted in the destruction of biodiversity, decreased oxygen, extinction of plant and animal species, damaged ozone layer, global warming, natural disasters, and climate change.
Yajña, Maṇtras, Balī and Animals
‘Yajña or Havan’ promotes environmental wellness, quality of life, atmospheric purity, inner and outer well-being. Scientifically, Yajña produces gases like ethyl oxide (C2H4O), propylene (C3H6), acetylene (C2H2), and others[xxvii] that combat pollution and balances O2 (oxygen) and CO2 (carbon dioxide) in the atmosphere. The Yajurveda discusses the removal of various pollutions; tranquility, prosperity, cosmic health; glories of trees, benefits of seasons and more through Yajña.[xxviii] Dr.Swami Satya Prakash Saraswati in his book ‘Aum Agnihotra-An Ancient Process of Fumigation (A Study From the Chemical Standpoint)’ states:
“in the materials of Agnihotra some elements produce the formaldehyde gas(CH2O) which spreads in the atmosphere without undergoing any change. Even carbon dioxide (CO2) transforms to a large extent into formaldehyde gas (CH2O) which is a strong germicide. This gas is activated only when it comes in contact with water vapours. This is the reason why the Havankuṇda is sprinkled with water from all four sides.” [xxix]
‘Maṇtra’ is a sacred and scientific collection of words, sounds, phonemes, and syllables. It is a codification of a certain cosmic force that links the material world and the Supreme Consciousness. Maṇtras are the primordial rhythms of creation[xxx] that bring about harmony within and without, on an individual as well as on the cosmic level, in the Pañcamāhābhūtas and for the sake of Sarvbhūtahita.
‘Balī’ is a widely misunderstood word. If one comprehends the Vedic wisdom, he will conclude that Vedic teachings and rituals are meant for cosmic concord. This vision of coherence stems from the recognition that we are all interrelated, necessitating the development of ethical norms of behaviour toward oneself and the entire creation. Nevertheless, a few misinterpret the Vedic rituals and deem them to be such in which an animal is sacrificed in order to appease a Deity and earn rewards. In the Śābarabhāṣya inflicting of injury has been pronounced forbidden. It is said that ‘Śyena’ which may be interpreted as “a ceremony where the intention is to cause harm to others” is not propagated in the Vedas, rather, the text announce,
“If a man desires Śyena (inflicting injury upon another), one must do so entirely because he wishes and not because of any text”[xxxi]
The Practice of ‘Ahiṃsā’ is the foundation of Indian thought and appears in the Śatapathabrahman as ‘Non-injury’ with the connotation of morality. The Vedas repeatedly instruct that animals must not be harmed. However, man’s self-centred approach has driven him to purposefully misconstrue the Vedic voices. The Yajurveda declares:
“Animals are not to be killed or harmed .[xxxii] They are the bedrock of a prosperous society.[xxxiii] Animals should be protected and must live fearlessly.[xxxiv]
Today, a few deceitful scholars claim that the Vedas is in favour of animal sacrifice (paśu balī).’ However, this is a blatantly fallacious elucidation. Just as in the English language there are Homonyms[xxxv], i.e. the word ‘Round’ could mean circle, interview round, moving aimlessly or talking in a way that confuses someone. Similarly, the word ‘Balī’ has many meanings. Let’s have a look at the same:
- ‘Balī’ is the technical terminology for ‘Wrinkles’ in the Rasaśāstra (Ayurveda).[xxxvi]
- ‘Balī’ is one of the 108 names of Lord Kṛṣna.[xxxvii]
- ‘Balī’ is the name of the Demon King ‘Mahābalī’ and means ‘The One With Great Power and Strength’.[xxxviii]
- Balī’ refers to an austere or hermit.[xxxix]
- ‘Balī’ connotes to ‘Balīdāna’ (self-sacrificing one’s comforts, alms, food or time for the sake of others).
- ‘Balī’ is the name of the King of the Yādavas[xl]
- ‘Balī’ is the name of the Vānararāja Ānav[xli] in the great epic Māhābhārata.
- ‘Balī’ is the daily Dāna offered to sages, humans, dogs, cows, and crows.[xlii]
- The term ‘Balī’ also suggests a compulsory tax or levy that is given to the King.[xliii]
- ‘Balī’ refers to a Deity who protects the Pātālaloka.[xliv]
- ‘Balī’ means a ceremonial food offering to Lord who protects all in accordance to the Śaivāgamas.[xlv]
- ‘Balī’ is used in Vāstuśāstra for a diagram with eighty-one squares and a cluster of Deities that are drawn on the ground and where the structural construction has to take place.[xlvi]
- ‘Balī’ in Jainism, refers to the name of the sixth Prativāsudeva.[xlvii]
Let us now also have a look at the various meanings of the word ‘Paśu’.
- ‘Paśu’ is the individual soul (including human) in Śaiva Siddhānta while Patī is ‘Supreme Śiva’.[xlviii]
- ‘Paśu’ refers to all embodied souls (humans included) in the cosmos in the Śhilpaśāstra.[xlix]
- As per Vāyupurāṇa, Ṛṣi Kaśyapa is said to be the ancestor of Paśus (humans, animals and plants) along with Gaṇdharva, Devas and Asuras[l] suggesting that despite varied forms we all have the same roots.
From the foregoing, it becomes clear that the word ‘Paśu’ doesn’t refer to merely an animal nor does the word ‘Balī’ mean ‘killing’. Thus, Paśu Balī’ cannot be interpreted as ‘Animal Sacrifice’. This notion appears to be imposed on the Vedas which are far from promoting any ceremony involving violence or injury to any life. The misinterpretation of the word ‘Balī’ can be attributed to a variety of factors, such as:
- A lack of grasp of the original texts and the approach required to interpret them (i.e. in accordance with Deśa-Kāla-Paristhiti.
- Inadequate knowledge of San
- Studying the Vedas with preconceived notions and biases.
- Resolutely misinterpreting the Vedic to promote violence, disharmony and non-vegetarianism.
- Deliberately undermining the Vedas as a text of authority in order to destroy Vedic culture, philosophy, and history in the long run.
Today, ‘Animals, Birds, and All Sentient Beings’ exist in fright. Rooted in ignorance, man has exploited them to the point of absurdity. He slaughters them savagely for their skin, organs, hanging them up as a piece of décor, or just devouring them as a meal. The pitiful condition of these celestial beings is a question mark on human morals, ethics, education and life. Contrary to this view, animals have been revered in the Vedas as ‘Ṣodaśkalāḥ (bejewelled with sixteen celestial arts)[li] and as ‘Maḥ (worthy of worship for their love and grace).[lii] They have adorned Indian culture, art, architecture, philosophy, religion, traditions and life in general. The Vedic texts consider them to be the manifestation of God (Vibhūtis).[liii] In this regard states the Vibhūtiyogaḥ of the Śrīmad Bhagwadgīta,
Amongst the horses I am ‘Ucchaṣvā’ that emerged during the churning of the ocean. Amongst the elephants, know Me as ‘Airāvta’, Amongst the cows, I am ‘Kāmadhenu’. Amongst snakes, I am the ‘King Vāsuki’. Amongst the Nāgas, I am ‘Ananta’ and amongst water beings, I exist as ‘Varuṇadeva’. Amongst the animals, I am ‘Mṛga’, ‘Siṁha’ and amongst birds, I am ‘Gruḍa’. As a purifier of all lives, I am ‘Vāyu’. Amongst the beings of sea, I am ‘Magara’ and amongst sacred rivers, I am ‘The Gaṇgā.’[liv] I exist as the Ātman in the hearts of all living creatures and I am the beginning, middle and end of all these beings.[lv]
Each animal, bird and insect is associated with a Deity and embodies Its energies. Thus, revering that animal necessitates adoring that Deity. Bulls, dogs, snakes and scorpions are associated with Lord Śiva. Elephants are worshiped as ‘Gaṇeśa’. Lions are associated with ‘Ādi Śakti Durgā’. Crocodiles are connected to ‘Goddess Gaṇgā and Yamunā’. Further, in order to re-establish Dharma, ‘Mahāviṣṇu’ appears as a Maṭsya, Kūrma, Varāha, Nṛsiṃha and more. Even the smallest of insect is considered Divine. ‘Bhrāmarī’, a wasp who ended the demon Arunāsūra is associated with ‘Goddess Pārvatī’.[lvi]
Gaumātā holds an extraordinary place in Vedas. Her physical, religious, economic, environmental, social, cosmic, and spiritual vaue is extolled in the Vedas. She is revered as Goddess Lakṣmī[lvii]and must never be killed or harmed (Aghnayeyam).[lviii] Vedas annonce Her as a noble being endowed with splendour, divinity, purity, beauty, nonviolence, tranquillity, knowledge, compassion and the ability to nourish all beings.[lix] A society that invests in Her health and wellness flourishes by leaps and bounds.
‘Ṣvāna (dog)’ is declared as Godly in the Vedas. The Rudramsūkta of the Kṛṣna Yajurveda states,
I bow to Rudra, who controls the dogs, who is Himself the dog and who protects the dogs.[lx]
The Atharvaveda associates Rudra (A fearsome form of Lord Śiva) with Dogs.[lxi] The Goddess Dog ‘Saramā’ appears in the Ṛgveda.[lxii] The text also refers to Dogs as divine messengers and states,
Salutations to the two Divine broad-nosed messengers (Śyamā and Śabla) who take away our souls. For the sake of leading humans to auspiciousness, you graced mankind by staying amongst them (as dogs).[lxiii]
Further, in Maṅdala five of the Ṛgveda, Dogs are described as the knower of ‘Herbs’ and ‘All Wise’ suggesting that they have high intuitive powers and high realms of existence.[lxiv] They are also referred to as ‘Vastoṣpati (the lord and protectors of the house)’.[lxv] Mahaṛṣi Pāṇini in the Aṣṭādhyāyī, refers to them as ‘Sārmeyaḥ’ (the one whose feet bring luck and prosperity). The great epic Mahābhārata starts and ends with the Divine Dog.[lxvi] Further, before the battle of Mahābhārata, Arjuna prays to a Dog faced form Goddess Durgā known as ‘Kokāmukha’ Lord Dattātreya who represents the unity of Brahamā-Viṣṇu-Maheśa accepted Dogs as His Guru and Ādi Śaṅkarācārya realized Dogs as the source of all wisdom ‘Vedas’.[lxvii]
The Vedas in-depth talk of Siṁha, Aṣva, Mayūra, Garuḍa, Sarpa, Maṭsya and other sentient beings. The Śatapathabrahman announces human as also animal.[lxviii] Birds and animals in the Vedas are described as self-healers and knowers of herbs.[lxix] They can sense natural disasters and death.[lxx] The Atharvaveda mentions the establishment of Gauśālā and Paṣuśālā for the protection of aged, injured, handicapped, and ill animals.[lxxi] For their well-being, the society must provide these sentient beings with adequate food, medicine, food and fresh water[lxxii]. The Vedas also announce that these beings live in communities and grieve the death or injury of their members.[lxxiii] The text further declares,
Animals must live without any fear[lxxiv]
The Vedas voice that there is comprehensive harmonisation among all aspects of existence. This Vedic principle of ‘Ṛta’ embodies the sublime, regulated and harmonious operation of the cosmos. The text talks about an intrinsic relationship of Self-sameness between an individual and the cosmos. Therefore, just as the human body is the dwelling of an individual being, the cosmos is the divine abode of the Supreme Being and so, if anyone purposes to settle conflicts of any sort (environmental, political, social and more) he/she must initiate with the immediate rather than the mediate, proximate rather than the remote and with the visible rather than the invisible. Further, it is to be lucidly understood that one is never in conflict with others instead the conflict is always with one’s own inner states. The seeds of discord, greed and animosity sprouts within us and manifests into external struggles and pollutions. Therefore, if we want global environmental peace, we must first be at peace with ourselves.
It is evident that the Vedas have a comprehensive outlook towards Cosmic Environmental Harmony. They are embellished with rites, verses, and philosophies that promote universal-welfare. The text recognises everything as being present in the Divine and the Divine being present in all entities. Along these lines, ‘Environment’ is just another name for that ‘Ultimate Reality’. The ‘Environment’ that man elects to harm exists as non-dual from him and so he damages his own survival when he hurts ‘Mother Nature’. This non-dualistic vision can develop only with an education that is scientific, forward looking and wholesome but at the same time it is rooted in ancient wisdom, spirituality and cosmic compassion.
The Vedas advocate an organic cosmology that is devoid of distinctions which makes it a universal and all-encompassing. It is crucial to recognise that these timeless scriptures are incredibly scientific and have influenced many modern breakthroughs, hypotheses, researches and studies. The Vedas are not at odds with science and technology for as long as it serves to promote overall well-being. Only when modern science wishes for human-centric development at the cost of ruthlessly destroying forests, water bodies and animals is when there is a prominent gap between Vedic thought and modern science. Only when the entire cosmos is taken into account with unified vision of wholesome welfare of beings will science be seen as all-encompassing and complete. At present science exists in a very limited space. It is for the humans, of the humans and by the humans. All its developments stand upon the graves of innumerable sentient beings and on the delicate body of ‘Mother Nature’.
As long as man exists in the realms of dualism, he will be the cause of pain, misery and destruction of the world. It is time that the human race contemplates upon the Vedic averments in order to realise tranquility within and in the entire cosmos.
Eko vaśī sarvabhūtāntarātmā ekam rūpam bahudhā yaḥ karoti
(That One alone indwells all beings and That One alone becomes manifold)
Author Brief Bio: Dr. Vandana Sharma ‘Diya’ is a well-known Scholar of Advaita Vedānta Darśana. With a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Bhārtiya Darśan Śāstra (Indian Philosophy) from the Annamalai University, Tamil Nadu, she went on to study the Advaita Vedānta Darśana and Bhagwadgītā Śaṅkarabhāṣya at the Chinmaya Mission Foundation, Ernakulam, Kerala. Dr. Sharma further earned a Ph.D. in Advaita Vedānta from the same university. She has to her credit several research articles published in national and international journals.
[i]Shankaracarya,‘Shrimadbhagvadgitabhashya’, ManavPrabodhanPranyasa, Bikaner,Rajasthan,2016,pp.146-147(V.9.29).
[ii]Swami Gambhirananda(Tr),‘Eight Upanishads:Isa,Kena,Katha,Taittirya,Vol.1 with commentary of Shankaracharya’,Advaita Ashrama,Himalayas,1957,pp.4-6.(V.1,Ishopnishad)
[iii]Swami Nikhilananda,‘The Upnishad-Taittirya and Chandogya with Commentary of ShankarAcharyaa,Vol.4,(Chandogya Upanishad)’, Harper & Brothers Publisher,New York,1959,pp.294-295(V.6.2.3).
[iv]Griffith Ralph T.H,‘The Rigveda’,Védico Antiguo Einglés,Spain,1896,p.275(V.1.164.46).
[v]Maya-power through which the ‘One Infinite’ appears as ‘Diverse Finite’.
[vi]Brahman-the Ultimate Principle.
[vii]Swami Vivekananda,‘Complete Works of Swami Vivekananda’, Partha Sinha Digital Publication,2019, p.36.
[viii]Swami Gambhirananda,p.12-13,(V.6, Ishavasyaopnishad, Yajurveda)
[ix]Rigveda, Durvamrittikasuktam,V.5(10th Mandal);Also see Mahanarayanopnishad.
[xv] Raja Ram Mohan Roy,‘Vedic Physics, Scientific Origin of Hinduism’,Golden Egg Publishing,Toronto,1999, p.84.(V.1.192,Jaiminiya Brahman;V.1.24,Yajurveda;V.8.7,3.10,Shatapathabrahman).
[xvi]Wikipedia Contributors, 2021, ‘Air Pollution’.
[xxix]Swami Prakash Satya,‘Aum Agnihotra-An Ancient Process of Fumigation(A Study From the Chemical Standpoint)’, Jan Gyan Prakashan,India,1974,pp.71-73.
[xxx] Holdrege Barbara,‘Veda and Torah: Transcending the Textuality of Scripture’,Sunny Press,New York,1996,pp.347.
[xxxi]Jha Ganganatha,‘Shbarabhashya’,Oriental Institute,SadhnaPress,Badroda,1933,p.7.
[xxxiv]Yajurveda;V.36.22,(abhayaṁ aḥ paśubhyaḥ|).
[xxxv]Homonyms-Words with same spelling,pronunciations but different meanings.
[xxxvi]WisdomLib, 2015, ‘Rasashastra’, www.wisdomlib.org.
[xxxvii]Fifty-eighth name of Lord Krishna(Om Baline Namaha)
[xxxviii]Williams George,‘Handbook of Hindu Mythology’,Oxford University Press, London,2008,pp.73–74.
[xxxix]Wisdom Lib, 2020, ‘Bali’, wwwwisdomlib.org.
[xliii]Bhagavatapurana, V.I.13,40-41; II.31, 48,.
[xliv]Parākhyatantra, V. 5.44-45 (10thcen Saiva-Siddhanta Tantra work).
[xlv]Wisdom Lib, 2015, ‘Saivism’.
[xlvii]Prativasudevas are those who are considered anti-heroic.
[xlviii]Banerjee Jitendra Nath, ‘The Hindu Concept of God’, America Star Books, Maryland, 2011, pp.51-59
[lvi] Devibhagvatam, ch.13, sacred-texts.com
[lxii]Ibid,1.62.3;1.72.8;3.31.6; 4.16.8; 5.45.7;5.45.8
[lxvi]Mahabharat begins with Janmejaya and his brothers, who are preparing to execute a sacrificial ceremony. When suddenly, a puppy appeared, the brothers hit him ruthlessly. The injured puppy ran to its mother, sobbing, and recounted the storey. “Why was my child beaten up when he had committed no crime?” the mother went and asked the brothers. She thus, cursed them and the marks the start of Mahabharata. The great epic concludes with Yudhishthir refusing to enter heaven without his dog, only to discover that the dog was none but Lord in disguise.
[lxvii]Vidyarayana Madhava, Swami Tapasyananda (Tr), ‘Shankara Digvijay’, Ramakrishna Matha, Chennai, 2008, pp.60