There was a time when Sāmaveda, which is one among the four vedas, had over a thousand branches! Pātañjala Bhāṣya eulogizes:
How great! Hundreds of such branches of learning existed in this land! But sadly, this belongs to bygone ages; the picture today is pathetic. Out of a thousand branches of Sāmaveda only three are surviving!! One among these three is near its inevitable end, and the existence of the other two hangs precariously in balance!
We can’t take solace that the problem exists only with the Sāmaveda and the rest are all fine; the story is the same everywhere about the rich Bhāratīya heritage of knowledge. They are on the path of distortion and destruction. Every spark of knowledge, ignited by the great seers, who are our ancestors, is incomparable! Boundless! The utility of that treasure to the entire universe is beyond words! But today each spark of knowledge has – either got distorted or lost its meaning, if not already become extinct. A few that are left are moving fast towards extinction!
Why did this befall?
Outsiders, who ruled us for centuries, neglected our traditional education system; they forced their ‘non-knowledge’ on us. None from us grew to become proud children befitting the might of our parents; our people who neither had any knowledge nor any pride about our heritage threw the nectar-like knowledge bestowed on us by our ancestors and imbibed the insipid and slavish culture and values of outsiders in the name of modern education. Result – our golden treasure became their property and the outsider’s trash began to adorn the pride of place in our seat of worship!
However, crying on the spilt milk doesn’t make any sense; crying doesn’t make any difference. Times have come to such a pass that no one cares if one cries or even dies for our heritage or knowledge! We have to protect our nation and religion. Even at the cost of our sweat and blood we have to preserve our rich culture.
Yadāyadā hi dharmasya
Sunrise and light succeed darkness; as though to reaffirm this belief, to protect the ancient knowledge, forming the vital veins of Bhārata– the source of all knowledge, Lord Vishnu is arriving in disguise (word ‘gupta’ in Sanskrit means ‘disguise’) as Vishnugupta~VishwaVidyapeetham! Not at some faraway place, very close by! Not in the distant future… very soon!
Yes, a ViśvaVidyāPīṭham, an umbrella organization reminiscent of TakṣaśilāViśvaVidyālaya of yester years aims to to preserve and promote the invaluable treasure of Bhāratīya knowledge and art! That will have main campus at Gokarna, the holy seat of Lord Śankara’s only Ātmaliṅga; in the holy land of Ashoke, which was sanctified by the sacred footsteps of ĀdiŚankara not once, but three times over!
14 Bharatiya knowledge streams
According to the Indian Knowledge system and traditions there are 14 branches of knowledge. These 14 VidyAs are also mentioned in the Yajnavalkya Smriti.
“PurAna nyAya mimAngsA dharmshAstrAnga mishritAh |
VedAh sthAnAni vidyAnAm dharmasya cha chaturdasha ||”
“The 14 VidyAs pertaining to Dharma are — PurAna, NyAya, MimAngsA, DharmashAstra, VedAnga (6 of them) and the Veda (4 of them). (Chapter1, verse 3)”
Vishnugupta VidyaPeetham includes study and research of all 14 streams of knowledge.
Education – Sage thinking
Our sages’ thinking on the matter is very different from the thinking of today’s education experts and closer to the truth.
“Na Vidya Ya Vimuktaye”
“It is something that seems to lead to release from all kinds of (physical (Aadhi Bhauthika), Divine (Aadhi Daivika), spiritual(Aadhyatmika)) confinement.”
The purpose of Indian life is to study that phenomenon.
He is a true Bharathiya (Indian). That is true Bharath (India).
Veda itself tells about ancient and holy veda as “ananta vai veda” means “Vedas are infinite”.
But overtime in India Vedas are countable.
It is believed that Rugveda had 21 shakhas, Yajurveda has 101 shakhas, Saamaveda had 1000 shakhas and Atharvaveda had 9 shakhas.
But many of those are obsolete , only some of them are available in Bharath now.
Their survival is essential.
The four Vedas
The subsidiary Vedas (Upa Vedas)
Ayurveda (Āyurveda) (medicine)
Gandharvaveda (Gāndharvaveda) (music)
Shilpa( architecture)/ Arthaśāstra
The six auxiliary sciences – Vedangas
Shiksha (Śikṣā) (phonetics)
Vyakaran (Vyākaraṇa) (grammar)
Niruktha (Nirukta) (philology)
Chanda (Chandassu) (metre)
Jyothish (Jautiṣya) (astronomy)
Purana (Purāṇa) – and History (including Rāmāyaṇa, Mahābhārataand Bhāgavata.)
Nyaya and Memansa are also part of what is known as Sad-Darshanas.
Which leads to a life sans blemish, righteous living.
The skill which ensures availability of nectar like food from the soil, without which life itself is listless.
The leading light for protection of Goumātā, universal mother, who is the abode of all Gods.
Agriculture Contact Vāṇijya (Commerce):
Which introduces the traditional Bhāratīya system of trade-without-lies-and-cheating.
64 branches of art to the extent practicable
Indian knowledge systems explain about mainly 64 arts. Most of the ‘arts’ are still relevant in the modern era. It might be noted that all these arts are connected with daily lives of common beings. The classification of ‘art’ includes the knowledge referred to in the contemporary world such as science, medicine, chemistry, physics etc.
There are many scholarly ancient texts available in many of these art fields. Contemporary education must look into these ancient texts for inspiration and relevance. It is always possible that current day western knowledge might already be found in the existing ancient knowledge, a combination of the two can lead to a much higher knowledge base.
Vishnugupta VishwaVidyapeetham will teach relevant knowledge forms in its institutions.
More specifically music, instrumental music, dance, acting, dressing and make-up, creative writing, drawing, wood carving, Vāstuśāstra, cookery, Science of omens,Vṛkṣāyurveda,perfumery, embroidery and sewing, handicrafts, gemology, metallurgy, art of massaging, linguistics of Indian languages, traditional games, exercise.
To ensure that a student who graduates from the ViśvaVidyāPīṭham doesn’t become a misfit in contemporary society-he/she will study-
- Languages of modern world like English, Hindi
- Contemporary general knowledge
- Right amount of modern technology
- Present constitution of Bhārata
- Real history of the nation
Finally, the empowered student who graduates from this ViśvaVidyāPīṭha will be equipped with the skills and art of self-defense which will help him to become a brave defender of dharma and self.