The Navagraha (Nine Planets) Quiz What are these “planets”? The meaning of Navagraha is discussed here, with reference to the recent reclassification of planets in the solar system. “Graha” means to hold, or be held. What is being held, by whom, and how? Now it becomes clear why the sun is called one of the “planets” in the ancient Hindu classification. We also discuss here, briefly, how Kepler discovered the famous laws of planetary motions. Hubble's law for the expanding universe and Kepler's laws were deduced based on careful observations and sound mathematics, coupled with bold conjectures. It is suggested that similar attempts to discover fundamental laws that describe the behavior of financial and economic systems must be made by finance, economics, and management science majors, especially in view of the near total collapse of the financial system (in the USA) in 2008 and the continuing turmoils being faced in Europe.

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Table of Contents
Topic No. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. Topic The Nine Planetary Gods – and the nine planets Why is the sun considered a “planet”? Kepler’s laws of planetary motions and Newton’s Big G Eddington’s light bending experiments The Universe prepares to receive Baby Krishna Krishnaashtakam and brief comments Page No. 3 7 14 22 25 29 Page 2 of 37

Bhagavan appeared before Devaki and Vasudeva and first informed them about His appearance in Devaki’s womb. The baby Krishna then appeared in His four-armed form before His parents, with the full paraphernalia of shanka, gadaa, chakra, kirita, kundala, and peetambara, with lotus in hand and His Divine Consort, The Goddess Sri (Mahalakshmi) on His bosom (Sreevatsa-lakshmam, Srimad Bhagavatam, Canto 10, chapter 3, verse 9). Then, at Devaki’s request, He turned into an ordinary human baby. He was then carried by his father Vasudeva to Yasoda’s bedside and the baby daughter born to Yasoda was transported back to the prison. The baby girl transformed into Devi Durga and mocked Kamsa when he came to kill the eighth baby and warned Kamsa of his doom.

Baby Krishna with Vasudeva Crossing the Yamuna at night

Baby Krishna in Gokula Bathing of baby Krishna

How did the Universe prepare to receive Baby Krishna? Nine entities are described in the Srimad Bhagavatam Kaala, Dishaa, Prithvee, Jala, Agni, Vayu, Aaakaasha, Manas, and Atma Time itself transformed when Krishna appeared and so did all the planets, the stars, and the whole earth.
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Dear All: We all know there are nine planets in our solar system: Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto. Wait, wait. Not true! Not true, old man! There are only eight planets now. Tiny Pluto, whose discovery, in 1930, was considered to be a landmark event for the triumph of science, is no longer considered to be a planet according to the vote taken some time back by astronomers, in 2006, at their "big" annual meeting. Pluto has been demoted from its status of being the 9th planet. Neptune was discovered in 1846 and Uranus in 1781; thanks to the theory of gravity, due to Newton, which was published in 1687 and which greatly influenced these planetary discoveries. Uranus was actually observed as early as 1690 but it was not realized that it was a new planet, see ploration/discovery_of_uranus.html ). The discovery of the “outer planets” as they are called (Uranus, Neptune and Pluto??), which were not known in ancient times (solar system only extended up to Saturn) was considered to be the greatest triumph of 17th century Newtonian science, until Einstein's General theory of Relativity replaced Newton’s theory of the Universe in the 20th century. According to our ancient Hindu traditions, we offer prayers to the Navagrahas (nine "planetary gods") as a part of many poojas, such as the Satyanaryana Pooja, usually performed on every full moon day.
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We just had the "Supermoon" day this weekend (May 5 and May 6, 2012) - with the full moon coinciding with the closest distance of the moon in its orbit around the earth, see The moon's orbit is not perfectly circular and so there are small variations in the distance from the earth. The "Supermoon" was supposed to be roughly 14% bigger than other full moons that we observe at other times in the year. The moon is considered to be one of the nine "planets" in the Navagraha list. Ah, you must be shaking your head already at the "foolishness" of all this. To make matters worse, even the sun appears in the list of the nine "planets". The other seven in the Hindu list are: Mercury (Budha), Venus (Shukra), Mars (Mangala or Kuja), Jupiter (Guru or Bruhaspati), Saturn (Shani), Rahu and Ketu.

Lord Sun (Surya Bhagavan)

Lord Moon (Shri Chandra Bhagavan)

Now, wait, what is this Rahu and Ketu? Did not read about this in any of my science classes you say! Yes, you did not. They are called the North Node (Rahu) and South Node (Ketu) and you find them mentioned only in astrology books - not science or astronomy books.
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The nodes are the points where the moon's orbit cuts the earth's orbit. The earth and all the other planets of the solar system lie in essentially in a single plane as they move around the sun. The moon, on the other hand, does not orbit in the same plane. Its orbit is almost at right angles to the plane in which all the other planets orbit. Hence, the orbit of the moon is “above” and cuts the plane of orbit of the earth. The points of intersection are called the “nodes”. If these "nodes" are observed carefully, they appear to be moving in the sky, in a direction opposite to the general direction in which the planets are seen to be moving.

Lord Mercury

Lord Venus

Lord Mercury (Shri Budha Bhagavan)

Lord Venus (Shri Sukra Bhagavan)

Anyway, for the "science" student and the "rational thinker", the BIGGEST insult and NO NO is calling the sun itself a "planet". How utterly foolish our ancestors must have been to think of the sun as a "planet"! Don't we all know that the sun is "fixed" and all planets are moving around the sun? So, a planet, by definition is a body that is moving (around the sun?). Or, maybe there is more going on than we realize?
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The Sun’s Motion
After all the cosmology lessons of the last month or so (we did formally finish our discussion of chapter 8 yesterday --- and now we are into chapter 9, where Krishna continues some of the earlier discussion from chapter 7) let’s take a look at what our sun is doing and its place in the "cosmos". The following is taken verbatim from the link given above. • Our galaxy is known as the Milky Way. The Sun is one of some 300 billion stars that travel around the Milky Way, in a near circular orbit. These stars are closer to the galactic center than the Sun. • The distance from the center of our Galaxy to the Sun is about 26,000 light years (a light year is about 6 trillion miles), which is approximately halfway out on one of the Milky Way's curving arms. • The Sun and its planets take a period of 225 million years to revolve around the galactic center. The time it takes for each orbit is sometimes referred to as a cosmic year or a galactic year. The Sun has completed about 20 orbits since the solar system was formed. For each orbit, the Sun traveled 150,000 light years of distance. What we learned in our elementary "science" classes thus has to be modified. The accepted view that the sun is fixed and that the planets move around it, is the so-called heliocentric model for the solar system. But, the sun itself is moving. Just like the earth-moon pair, taken together, moves around the sun, the sun with its family of planets is moving around the “galactic center”. May be "Navagraha" idea, which refers to heavenly moving objects, with sun being one of the "planets", is not such a far fetched idea, after all !

Actually the word "graha" means that which is being held. What is being held? And, by whom?
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As we learned in our "science" classes, gravity is "holding" the earth in its orbit around the sun. The "sun" is the source of the force of gravity that the earth is experiencing. Is the "sun" also being held in some way, since it is moving around the galactic center, as we just learned? Yes. There are billions of stars just in our Milky Way galaxy. Many are far more massive than our own sun. Now, take a look at the following explanation about the force of gravity experienced by the sun and how "stars" in our galaxy move, also taken from the above.

Newton's explanation of the speed of stars in the Milky Way is as follows. He showed that stars closer to the galactic center, including the Sun, experience a gravitational pull equal to the pull created by the mass that is equal to that of all the stars closer to the galactic center. Hence, the mass of the galactic center is equal to the total mass of all the stars closer to the center. He also showed that stars farther from the center have a combined gravitational force of zero. Those stars pull in all different and opposite directions, canceling out one another. Therefore, the stars closer to the center experience a gravitational pull towards the center and they move at greater speeds, since there is more force acting upon them. Conversely, more distant stars have less force acting upon them and in turn, they travel at lower speeds. In addition, stars beyond this distance have speeds that stop decreasing and eventually remain constant. In conclusion, we have to be a bit more "liberal" and not get too "dogmatic" about what "science" is teaching us about different things. Let us learn to be a bit more generous and a bit more understanding when it comes to the teachings of the Hindu scriptures. In the very first document of this series, that is now available as a public document, I said let’s use the term "non-science" (not NONSENSE) to describe such studies where I also suggested that we make a sincere effort (means with
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all due humility) to understand what we learn from scriptures such as the Bhagavad Gita and the Srimad Bhagavatam. There is a beautiful sloka in chapter 15 of the Gita that I often remember when I think about all this "gravity" stuff. It goes as follows. Gaam aavishya ca bhootani dharayaam-yaham ojasa l PushaaNami coushadheeh sarva SomO bhootva rasaatmakahaa ll 15.13 ll BG

गाम् आविष्य च भूतावि धारयाम्यहम् ओजसा l पुष्णावम च औषध ीः सिावीः सोमो भूत्िा रसात्मकीः ll १५ .१३ ll
Chapter 15 is known as the Purushottama Yoga chapter (nature of the Supreme Person, or Supreme Being, uttama meaning supreme, the best, most exalted, etc.). Krishna says here in this verse, "And, I hold, dhaarayami aham, with My Power, ojasa, all the beings, bhootani." He adds "gaam aavishya". What does this mean? The verb "ga-ma" yields the third person singular, gacchati, which means to go, to move. Hence, "gaam aavishya" literally means "entering into the motion" – of the objects that are moving. In other words, Krishna is saying "I am responsible for the motion of the planet earth. It is I who am holding all the beings that live on this earth." "With My power, ojasaa" that Krishna talks about here, is the actually "force of gravity" as defined by physicists, or scientists. When Kepler, who was a deeply religious man, discovered the laws of planetary motions, in the 16th century (this was before Newton, Kepler was a contemporary of Galileo), he said that he could “feel” the “immense power” of the sun. This “power” is “ojas” of Krishna, later to be called gravity by Newton and Einstein. The second line of this verse is also interesting.
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Here Krishna says that He produces all the "taste" and "flavor" that we experience, in all the fruits, vegetables, herbs, etc. He does this via the moon, SomO bhootva. Krishna explains here that we call "moonshine" is what is actually responsible for this "taste". It is not enough just to have "sunshine" to grow our crops. We also need "moonshine". So, here's a hint for those who wish to journey in search of some "exoplanet" in the 21st century (assuming our economy recovers and we can afford such luxuries). Look for a planet that has a nice moon, like our moon. Only such a planet will be suitable for life as we know it. That is the "practical" lesson that I draw from this beautiful sloka from chapter 15. Very sincerely V. Laxmanan May 6, 2012 *********************************************************************** P. S. We also pray to 27 nakshatras - or stars - real stars that are observed in a narrow belt called the zodiacal belt. As the moon moves around the earth, it is seen to be associated with each of these 27 stars. These "stars" are called the "nakshatra" devatas. Each one of us has a star called the "birthstar". It is one of these 27 stars. Actually, ancient texts talk about 28 stars. So, we think this list of 28 is more "scientific". The 28th star is called Abhijit. It was considered to be a very auspicious star. Embarking upon something important on the day when "Abhijit" was the nakshtram was supposed to guarantee success. So, the Kauravas in consultation with their gurus, named the date for the start of the Mahabharata war to be the day when Abhijit was the nakshtram. Not very good news really then for the Pandavas, right, whose side Krishna was on. He was also the charioteer for Arjuna, after all. Guess, what Krishna did to avoid defeat for the Pandavas! He took Abhijit away
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from the system and throw it away - very very far away (may be towards the galactic center!). It does NOT exist anymore although some very wise people still count 28 major stars in the zodiacal belt. Cheers! Also, Krishna was born on "Ashtami", the 8th day of the fortnight. But, when He arrived there was a full moon. How is this possible? With His baby toe Krishna just gave the moon a gentle kick so that it turned into a full moon on the 8th day itself. Actually, there is a very beautiful description of how the whole Universe "prepared" itself to welcome the birth of Krishna. And, we are worried about the "stupidity" called the full moon on ashtami day in our scriptures! So much for "science". Let me formally announce now the creation of the Department of Non-Science to study such topics, more logically; see Cosmology Lesson, no. 7 in the list below.

1. Merging with the Supreme: Let's talk BEC and Brahma 2. In the Beginning: Even Before Brahma 3. Abandoning Stree Dharma: Rasa-Lila and Surrender of the Gopis 4. Rasa-Lila in Brief: Saptasloki 5. Rasa-Lila: Was Krishna Celibate? 6. Duration of Rasa-Lila 7. Cosmology Lessons from The Bhagavad Gita 8. Did the Universe Start in a Big Bang? How did we arrive at this idea?

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Lord Mars

Lord Jupiter

Lord Saturn

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Lord Rahu

Lord Ketu

Navagraha Devatas Page 13 of 37

Kepler’s laws of planetary motions
In the 16th century, Kepler discovered the three important laws of planetary motions that bear his name. This was in the generation before Newton; Kepler was a contemporary of Galileo. Kepler’s laws were simple mathematical formulae that he deduced to describe the huge tables of daily planetary observations that were being compiled by astronomers, for centuries. Here is the brief story of how this happened. It is being told here for a purpose that will soon become obvious.

Tycho Brahe Johannes Kepler The story begins with the Danish astronomer Tycho Brahe. When he was a young teenager, Brahe noticed that a conjunction of the two major planets, Jupiter and Saturn, did not occur, on the date predicted in August 1563, using
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the “old” astronomical tables. This conjunction could be determined, with the naked eye, without requiring any precision instruments.
The discrepancy between the time of the observed closest approach of the two planets and that computed from the tables, about a month using the Alphonsine Tables and a few days by the Prutenic Tables, greatly impressed Tycho.

The old tables were called the Alphonsine and Prutenic tables. Brahe was greatly intrigued by the discrepancy and decided to continue his observations until the predicted conjunction actually occurred at a later date. He realized that the tables were in error. He then dedicated himself to designing and building new and improved observational instruments for astronomical studies. Being an influential nobleman, he also received a grant from the King Frederick of Denmark. A whole island, off the shores of Denmark (called Uraniborg with all the residents of the island), was granted to him. The residents of the island were told to work for Brahe and all the taxes collected belonged to Brahe, who built what we would now call a top notch astronomical research institute. He personally continued his observations and maintained detailed record books (that only he was allowed to see). After more than 20 years of such observations, he decided to hire a young mathematician named Johannes Kepler to study the observations in detail since the motion of the planet Mars could not be explained. Sometimes Mars would appear to move “backwards” in the sky. This “retrograde” motion was puzzling and a source of great interest and could not be readily explained on the basis of the then prevailing “theories” of planetary motions. (In Hindu, or Vedic, astrology/astronomy this is called “vakram”, which means backwards, or even “crooked”. Retrograde motion (vakra-gati) of a planet is generally not considered to be good or auspicious. Other major planets like Jupiter and Saturn also show this behavior but Mars was the biggest culprit and the most noticeable of all. Brahe could not explain this; see the visualization of the motion of Mars at .)
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Kepler started his mathematical studies and was soon forced to abandon the idea that planets orbit in perfect circles. Having worked with Brahe closely, Kepler was so confident of Tycho Brahe’s very precise observations (Brahe was the first to also provide an estimate of the potential ‘errors’, now a standard scientific practice) that he was soon convinced that Mars does NOT orbit the sun in a perfect circle. Being a skilled mathematician, Kepler tried to fit the observations to the next best mathematical curve – an ellipse - and thus also introduce the minimum of complexity into the mathematical analysis. This was a revolutionary step. Galileo refused to accept it since he believed that the heavens were perfect and so heavenly orbits must be perfect circles. How could a “dirty” and “imperfect” figure like the ellipse describe heavenly motions? Although a revolutionary thinker himself, Galileo refused to acknowledge, all his life, Kepler’s major contribution to astronomy. Regardless, Kepler was able to show that ALL of Brahe’s observations, on all the then known planets (Uranus and Neptune and poor Pluto had NOT yet been discovered) could be explained very easily and simply by invoking the elliptical shape for the orbit. A new law of planetary motions had been created – based entirely on mathematical reasoning. The first two laws are as follows. 1. Planets orbit around the sun, in an elliptical path, with the sun at one of the two foci of the ellipse. This is called the law of the ellipse. (The two foci of the ellipse will merge with its center when the ellipse reduces to a circle. If “a” and “b” are the semi-major and semi-minor axis, respectively, then we have b2 = a2 (1 – e2), where “e” is the eccentricity of the ellipse. For a perfect circle, b = a = r and the eccentricity e = 0.) 2. An imaginary line joining the planet to the sun, always sweeps equal areas in equal intervals of time. This is true for all planets. This is called the law of equal areas.
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Kepler’s third law represents the pinnacle of mathematical genius and combines all of the observations on the planets, very elegantly, into a simple mathematical law. Let T denote the period of the orbit and “a” the semi-major axis of the planet’s elliptical orbit. Kepler showed that the square of the period of the orbit (T2) is proportional to the cube of the semi-major axis of the ellipse (a3). Thus, T2 = ka3 or T = K a3/2 where K or k is a constant.

This is the famous three-halves power law which was later eloquently confirmed even after the planets Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto were discovered (see graph in Cosmos by Carl Sagan).

Carl Sagan – who popularized astronomy and science, in the 20th century, with his Cosmos. He also convinced astronomers that Venus, a twin of the earth, shows a “runaway” greenhouse gas effect due to the very high concentration of carbon dioxide. The same value of K applies and the graph of T versus “a” can be extended to new planets (which had higher and higher values of “a” and so higher and higher values of T). It was also shown to apply to the moons orbiting a single planet, for example, Jupiter’s moons. All the moons orbit a single central – in this case Jupiter – which provides the gravitational pull, see
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Kepler published his findings in two important books. The first two laws were revealed in 1609 in his book Astronomia Nova. Then, on May 15, 1618 he discovered The Third Law. This law was published in 1619 in his Harmonices Mundi. It was Kepler’s third law, not an apple falling on Newton’s head, that actually led Newton to his law of gravitation (the inverse square law). Kepler can truly be called the founder of celestial mechanics.

Newton’s apple tree in 1998 (third pedigree)

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In the “Big Bang” document (see page 11, number 8), I had challenged finance, business, and management science majors to pay attention to the attempts by astronomers like Edwin Hubble, who were able to draw bold and far-reaching conclusions by preparing x-y “scatter” graphs instead of just compiling tables of data – such as the annual Fortune 500, Forbes 500, Business Week Quarterly data and so on. Kepler’s analysis is another example from astronomy. Huge volumes of tables upon tables of astronomical observations were reduced to three simple laws that describe the behavior (or orbits) of all planets. Perhaps, there are laws similar to Kepler’s laws, really simple laws, waiting to be described that could explain the behavior of the financial and economical world. With the financial and economic turmoil that we now face and the total collapse of the financial system in 2008, it is time for some serious efforts along these line to understand the fundamental workings of the financial system. Yes, it may all seem like “chaos” today without any simple explanations. That is what they thought before Galileo, Kepler, Newton arrived and changed our view of the Universe. Then came Maxwell, Hubble, and Einstein. But, the first steps were taken by Galileo and Kepler – with the law of falling bodies (Galileo) and the three laws of planetary motions (Kepler). These laws were not based on any theory. They were simply compact mathematical “expressions” to describe large volumes of tabulated experimental observations. The financial world now operates like astronomy did before Kepler. see page 11and some reference cited.

Newton’s Big G: The Gravitational Constant
To complete the story, Newton was greatly influenced by Kepler’s laws. As a first step, Newton showed that his mathematical expression for the force of gravity was consistent with Kepler’s laws – specifically his third law.
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The gravitational force between two bodies is always attractive. Each mass attracts the other. Newton also gave the force of gravity a mathematical form. First, it will vary as inversely as the square of the distance between the two bodies. Let us say we have two bodies A and B, with masses m1 and m2 separated by some distance, r. The force will vary as 1/r2. Hence, it is called the inverse square law. Second, Newton said that the force will be directly proportional to the masses. The simplest mathematical form of this force of gravity is, therefore, F (m1m2)/r2, where the symbol means ‘varies as’. Hence, if the distance between the two bodies doubles, the force is reduced to one-fourth. If the distance increases to 10 times, the force reduces to 1/100th the value. Hence, objects which are near to us affect us much more by their gravitational force. Hence, the moon affects the ocean tides when it is closest to the earth. A new theory for why the luxury liner Titanic sank has recently been advanced and is based on the idea that high tides, caused by an unusually close presence of the moon 100 years ago, ripped the icebergs from the coast of Greenland which then drifted into the shipping lanes of the Titanic! To convert the “varies as” into an equality, we write F = G (m1m2)/r2 where G is a constant called the gravitational constant. This must have exactly the same value all over the Universe – if Newton’s law is valid. Thus far, this is more of a deeply held assumption than a proven fact, with values of G being determined first in the experiments by Cavendish. For example, no measurements of G, going beyond earth-based measurements, seem to have been attempted. (The simplest would be to study the orbits of hundreds of asteroids that orbit the earth, whose periods and distances from the sun are well-known. The formula for the period of an elliptical orbit can then be tested to deduce the value of G.) ****************************************************************************************** Under standard assumptions the orbital period ( ) of a body traveling along an elliptic orbit can be computed as:


is standard gravitational parameter,
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is length of semi-major axis.

 

The orbital period is equal to that for a circular orbit with the orbit radius equal to the semi-major axis ( ), For a given semi-major axis the orbital period does not depend on the eccentricity (See also: Kepler's third law).

In astrodynamics, the standard gravitational parameter μ of a celestial body is the product of the gravitational constant G and the mass M of the body.

Here G is the universal gravitational constant and M is the mass of the central body providing the gravitational force, e.g, the sun for the asteroids, or Jupiter for its moons and so on. Unfortunately, the independent values of G and M are not known, only the product “GM”. Testing the formulae for the period in three different cases (planets and the sun, asteroids and the sun, and moons and a planet like Jupiter should enable a determination of the separate values, going beyond earth-based laboratory measurements of G, as in the Cavendish experiment. ******************************************************************************************* Also, it should be remembered that Einstein did not modify the force law enunciated by Newton. Einstein’s theory only modifies the meaning of time. Also, Einstein used non-Euclidean geometry to describe space. The basic force laws of Newton (three in all), however, remain unchanged to this day. The value of G determined from earth-based laboratory measurements has since been used to test gravitational theories, including the most famous light bending experiment of 1919, which confirmed Einstein’s predictions. When light, from the distant stars, passes a massive body like our sun, it will be deflected from its straight line path. In other words, gravity can bend even a light ray. The angle by which it will bend, or deviate from its original direction, can be calculated. Newton’s theory, it was shown, would yield exactly one-half the bending of light compared to Einstein’s theory.

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Eddington’s Light Bending Experiments to Confirm Einstein’s Relativity

Credit: Jose Wudka

Experimental tests of the light bending theories, starting with the most famous test due to the British astronomer Eddington, supported Einstein’s prediction of “twice” the bending. . What if the bending had turned out to be even higher than predicted theoretically by Einstein? One can certainly conceive this. There is a famous joke about Eddington that is often told in this context. Eddington’s assistants were all told what their mission was. The light bending experiment was to be conducted during a total eclipse of the sun, on May 29, 1919. Photographs to reveal the positions of the distant stars, near the sun, would be taken during the eclipse, which was to be observed from two different
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islands on the earth – one near northern Brazil (at Sobral) and the other off the coast of West Africa (Principe, in Gulf of Guinea). The bending of the light from the stars, as it passed the sun, would be measured from the photographs.

Royal Observatory Greenwich

Albert Einstein and Arthur Eddington: the father of relativity and the man who proved him right.

Eddington got the support of the Royal Astronomical Society for the scientific expeditions to these islands. Eddington’s assistants were told that they were looking for twice the bending predicted by Newton’s theory. Eddington really liked Einstein’s theory and also believed that only Einstein and he understood the theory. There is another joke about this – about three people understanding Einstein’s theory to which Eddington retorted ------ you can look it up and do an internet search on your own, see also a 2008 report Oh leave the Wise our measures to collate One thing at least is certain, light has weight One thing is certain and the rest debate Light rays, when near the Sun, do not go straight. -- Arthur Eddington
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Anyway, Eddington’s assistant (Cottingham) asked the question posed earlier. “What would happen if we get more than twice the bending?” The answer was given by another famous astronomer, Dyson, who was then the Royal Astronomer of England. He said, “Then Eddington will get mad, and will leave you here on this remote island (in Brazil, near the jungles of Amazon area! Cheers! Scientists are people too!)
Probably the most famous illustration of Eddington’s alleged bias in favor of Einstein’s theory is a story subsequently repeated by Eddington himself in which Dyson (photo on the left), in explaining the experiment to Cottingham before departure (of the expedition to Brazil), told the clockmaker that there were three theoretically plausible results: no deflection; half deflection, which would show that light had mass, and vindicate Newton; and full deflection, which would vindicate Einstein. Gathering that the greater the deflection the more theoretically exciting and novel the result, Cottingham asked what would happen if they obtained twice the Einstein deflection. “Then,” replied Dyson, “Eddington will go mad, and you will have to come home alone.” s/kennefick_phystoday_09.pdf The three people Eddington joke is here for sure. Now, you just have to find it.

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The Universe at its Best Preparing for Baby Krishna’s Arrival
Dear All: I got the following mail today from Sundari Murthy, one of the regular attendees of our Gita sessions and recipients of the emails. there is a very beautiful description of how the whole Universe "prepared" itself to welcome the birth of Krishna. Laxmanji, can you give the details of this or a link/source that I can refer to? This is indeed a very beautiful description. I also received another nice comment from Mahadevan sir, which shows that you are all (?? ) paying attention. So, let me add the beautiful description now. It also makes a lot of sense, since "nine" different entities are mentioned in the description of how the whole Universe "prepared" itself to welcome baby Krishna. The nine mentioned in Srimad Bhagvatam, Canto 10, chapter 3, are: Kaala (time), Dishaa (directions), Prithvee (the earth), Jala (water), Agni (fire), Vaayu (air), Aakasha (sky), Manas (mind) and Aatma (the soul). This beautiful description is found in Canto 10, chapter 3, verses 1 to 7. The easiest source to consult is Srila Prabhupada's translation; the link is given below. You can click on each verse and read the purports of each one. In what follows here, I will also incorporate some comments from the acaryas who have provided the Hindi translation of Srimad Bhagavatam, published by Gorakhpur Press.

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Atha sarvaguNopetah kaalah paramashobhanah l YarhyEvaa-jana-janmarksham shaantarksha-graha-taarakam ll 10.3.1 ll SB

अथ सिवगणोपेतीः कालीः परमशोभिीः l ु यर्ह्येिाजि जन्मर्क्षं शान्तर्क्षव ग्रह तारकम् ll १०.३.१ ll
The first line of the first verse says, "Atha sarvaguNopetah kaalah paramashobhanah". The very first word is "Atha" which is always used to indicate auspicious beginnings. Thus, it is said, at the start of the Brahma Sutra, or the Vedanta Sutra, “Athaato Brahma jijnaasa” And so, hereon, we begin our enquiries down the path that might lead us to the understanding of Brahman the Absolute, the Supreme. The first word again is “Atha”; see links below. nal%2Fitem 40&Itemid=458 Likewise, here in the Srimad Bhagavatam we begin with “Atha”. The first line in the verse describes “kaala” or time. We all suffer from the ravages of time. Time is cruel, time is merciless, cares for no one, is dispassionate and does what needs to be done, when it needs to be done, in a "robotic" fashion. There was a time when Sita was to be married. There was a time when Sita was to be abducted. There was a time when Sita was to see Hanuman, just as She was preparing to commit suicide. There was a time when Sita was to be tested. There was a time when Rama was to be
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exiled. There was a time when Rama was to be coronated. There was also a time when Sita was to be banished, willfully, to the forest by Rama. No one can escape the ravages of time. But, here we are told that "time itself became embodied with all good gunas" sarva guna upetahaa and became very very beautiful, parama shobhanahaa, like a dear one dressing up to receive her beloved. Of course, the "male gender" is used for time in the Sanskrit but I have tried to make the description more enchanting in English by resorting to the female gender for kaala. Indeed, the female gender is used for all that follows, so I am not really out of line. Even Lord Shiva, who heard that Krishna was performing the Rasa-lila with the gopis, wanted to join but was refused entry since he tried to enter as a male. So, Lord Shiva instantly changed himself into a beautiful female to join the Raasa-lila. Krishna saw him and smiled. (What a beautiful compliment to the Mohini avataram, where Lord Shiva enjoyed Bhagavan as an enchanting female, oblivious even to the presence of Parvati by his side!) Indeed, in Vrindavan, we have a temple for Shiva and here he is known as Gopeeshwara. We are all gopis, or must become gopis, or must surrender like the gopis, to enjoy that Brahma Raatri - the lila that lasted for a night as long as one night of Brahma. So, here the whole Universe is preparing itself. It is again night. Krishna was born at the stroke of midnight (Rama at the high noon, so Bhagavan honors the night now). The description of the physical universe and how it prepared itself to welcome the birth of Krishna is merely symbolic. We too must prepare ourselves in the same way to receive Krishna in our hearts - in our soul - to merge with Him like the gopis did during that Brahma Raatri. The second line states that the One who really has no birth or death, the One who is never really to be thought of as being born (ajana, why? no question, simple, always there!) is appearing. The entirety of space (antariksham) became still and peaceful. It was as if the whole Universe stopped expanding and
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became still to be as close to the earth as possible to see baby Krishna. Can you imagine that? Yes, you can, if you are not Einstein, or Hubble, the astronomer! That is what the whole Universe would want to do - stop expanding and get as close as possible to Krishna. Even that mighty force of gravity will momentarily cease to act and crush us all! And so did all the constellation of stars, such as Rohini (the dearest of all the 27 stars, who are considered to be the wives of moon, Chandra Bhagavan), appear. The moon was with his most dearest Rohini. Were the others not present? Were they outdone, or missing? No, not at all. No single star is mentioned by name and so all are actually mentioned. Every one of the wives was present and every one of the stars (nakshatra devatas) were at their best on that night (in other words, they blessed the whole universe in their joy to receive Krishna). What about the billions of stars beyond these 27 that are found in our zodiacal belt? They too were rejoicing and blessing the denizens of this world and in their respective worlds (if there is alien life! Did Krishna appear there too? Use your imagination and read about Raasalila and what the gopis saw!). What about all the planets around these stars, our own sun, all the navagraha devatas? They too were feeling the arrival of the Divine. They too, like kaala, transformed and manifested only their good self. What does this mean? When you surrender to Him, the stars, the planets, will all become subservient and bless you. There is no question of any inauspiciousness. Everything is auspicious - parama mangalam, everything is beautiful - parama shobhanam - as they say. May be I will stop here now. Just enjoy this first sloka today. We will continue with the remaining in tomorrow's email. Very sincerely

V. Laxmanan May 8, 2012
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Date: Tue, 8 May 2012 18:02:36 -0700 Subject: Fw: The Navagraha (Nine Planets) Quiz

there is a very beautiful description of how the whole Universe "prepared" itself to welcome the birth of Krishna. Laxmanji, can you give the details of this or a link/source that I can refer to? ******************************************************************************************* Dear Laxmanan, Your explanation of the navagrahas makes lot of sense. I knew that "graha" was not a planet. Our elders were far more knowledgeable to make that error. Now both moon and sun are also "held". The thing about expelling Pluto also is interesting. A group of experts with probably incomplete knowledge make this decision. In the future if a spacecraft flying near Pluto or another object that looks like a candidate for planet, we will have a ninth one again. Mahadevan *********************************************************************** Date: Wed, 9 May 2012 12:11:07 +0000 Subject: Re: The Navagraha (Nine Planets) Quiz Dear Laxmanan Sir, Did the whole universe 'prepare' for Rama's avataram too? Is there such description in Ramayana? Thanks, Janaki Dear Janaki: I wish there was. The difference, I think, lies in the nature of the "avataram". Krishna is Paramaatma Himself but Rama is one-half human and only one-half Divine (VishNor ardham, as Valmiki states). So, yes, Valmiki also provides a beautiful description but
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one which more appropriate in this context. For example, the entire horoscope for Rama is presented in a couple beautiful slokas that describe His divinity as well. All planets are in their most exalted positions. No ordinary human has such a horoscope. One must understand basic astrology to appreciate that Valmiki has given the full horoscope for Lord Rama. (He also mentions briefly the horoscopes for the other brothers - all their nakshatrams are given - for Rama it is Punarvasu, for Bharata it is Pushya, ..... now check out what this means and the nakshatrams for the other two!) May be we will add this too to the Navagraha document, which is now uploaded for the public with illustrations. I will slowly finish the translation of the verses from Srimad Bhagavatam. Then add the Ramayanam verses. The link is given below. Laxmanan

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KrishNaashtakam Eight verses on KrishNa Descriptions such as we find here provide us with a mental image of Krishna. We can also form such a mental image by looking at deities in a temple. Over a period of time, this is the image that we carry in our heart, or mind’s eye when we seek solace. Then, one day, we will be able to see Him, magically, situated within our hearts!

Vasudeva-sutam devam Kamsa-chaaNoora-mardanam l Devakee-paramaanandam KrishNam vande Jagad-gurum ll 1 ll

िसुदिसुतं देिं कं स चाणूर मदविम् l े देिकी-परमािन्दं कृ ष्णं िन्दे जगद्गुरं ll १ ll
This is the first of the eight verses, each ending with ‘KrishNam vande Jagadgurum’, singing the glories of Krishna. Each verse describes Krishna with simple words. It all starts with, “He is the son of Vasudeva”. All babies are always referred to by the names of their fathers. But He is also the Divine Himself, He is God (devam). He killed the demons named Kamsa and ChaaNoora. Only two are mentioned here but many many more were killed. He brings immense joy, the greatest joy, joy beyond all imagination, exceeding the divine bliss itself, to His Mother Devakee. So He is Parama-anandam. I bow to this Krishna, KrishNam vande, the guru of all the Worlds, Jagadgurum. (To this end, He preached to us the Immortal Bhagavad Gita, the greatest gift to all mankind. ) this link provides the verses in many different language fonts. Click on Stotras, pick Krishnashtakam, then language.
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Atasee-pushpa-sankasham Hara-noopura-shobhitam Ratna-kankaNa-keyooram KrishNam vande Jagadgurum || 2 ||

अतस -पुष्प-संकाशं हार-िूपर-शोवभतम् | ु रत्न-कङ्कण-के यूरं कृ ष्णं िन्दे जगद्गुरम् || २ ||
In each of these verses, the capital letter indicates the beginning of a new compound word, or adjective, that describes Krishna. He is like the “atasee” flower. The “atasee” is a humble flower, found in the wild, the flower that we find with a humble weed-like plant (translated as linseed or hemp by some authors). It is not a flower that we would grow in a garden, like the rose, or tulips, or mums, or jasmine, etc. Yet, Krishna decided to honor this humble flower by adopting a bodily hue that resembles the color of this flower. This is the first adjective. He is beautifully decked with a garland of flowers (haara). He has lovely anklets (noopura) on His legs. When a dancer dances, or even walks, these noopuras, make a melodious sound. And, so we hear this, when Baby Krishna walks around. (All babies wear this ornament.) He is wearing lovely bangles, kankaNa, on His hands (lower arms), studded with gems. He has beautiful arm bracelets (kayoora) gripping His lovely upper arms. I bow to this Krishna, the guru for all the worlds.

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Other translations available on the Internet
atasee pushpa sankasham haranoopura shobhitam ratnakankanakeyooram Krishnam vande jagadgurum || 2 || I bow to Krishna, The One is brilliant with the atasee flower, The One who shines with the garland and anklet, The One who wears jeweled bangle and upper arm bracelet, And who is Guru to the universe.

vasudevasutam dEvam kamsaChaNooraMardhanam (1) DEvakeeParamAnandam Krishnam Vande Jagadgurum ataseePushpaSankAsham hAranoopuraShobhitam (2) ratnakankaNakeyooram Krishnam Vande Jagadgurum kutilAlakaSamyuktam PoorNaChandranibhAsanam (3) vilasatkundaladharam Krishnam Vande Jagadgurum mandAragandhasamyuktam chAruhAsam chaturbhujam (4) barhiPinchAvachoodangam Krishnam Vande Jagadgurum

utphalaPadmaPatrAksham neelajeemootasannibham (5) yAdavAnam shiroratnam Krishnam Vande Jagadgurum rukmiNi Kelisamyuktam PeetAmbara Sushobhitam (6)
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avApta Tulasigandham krishnam Vande Jagadgurum gopikAnAm KuchadwandwakukumAnkitavakshasam (7) shriniketam MahEshwasam Krishnam Vande Jagadgurum shrivatsAnkam Mahoraskam VanamAlAvirAjitam (8) shankachakradharam Devam Krishnam Vande Jagadgurum krishnAshTakamidam puNyam prAtarutthAya yah paThet (9) koTiJanmaKrutam PApam SmaraNena Vinashyati. en

******************************************************* Krishanashtakam (Vasudeva sutham devam)
Translated by P.R.Ramachander (This popular prayer is acribed to Adhi Shankara by some.) Vasudeva sutham devam, Kamsa Chanura Mardhanam, Devaki paramaanandham , Krishnam vande Jagat Gurum. I salute the world teacher Krishna, Who is the son of Vasudeva, Who killed Kamdsa and Chanura, And the source of great joy to Devaki. Athasee pushpa sangasam, Hara noopura shobhitham, Rathna kankana keyuram, Krishnam vande Jagat Gurum.


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I salute the world teacher Krishna, Who is surrounded by hemp flowers, Who shines in necklaces and anklets, And who wears gem studded bangles and armlets. Kutilalaka samyuktham , Poorna chandra nibhananam, Vilasad kundala dharam, Krishnam vande Jagat Gurum. I salute the world teacher Krishna, Who is with curly locks of hair, Who resembles the full moon, And who shines in his ear studs. Mandhaara gandha samyuktham, Charu hasam, Chathur bhujam, Barhi pinnchava choodangam, Krishnam vande Jagat Gurum. I salute the world teacher Krishna, Who is with the smell of Mandhara flowers, Who has a pretty smile and four hands, And who wears the feather of peacock. Uthphulla pathra padamaksham, Neelaji mudha sannibham, Yadavaanaam siro rathnam, Krishnam vande Jagat Gurum. I salute the world teacher Krishna, Who has eyes like fully opened petals of lotus, Who resembles the rich blue cloud, And is the greatest gem among Yadavas.
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Rukmani keli samyuktham, Peetambara sushobhitham, Avaptha thulasi gandham, Krishnam vande Jagat Gurum. I salute the world teacher Krishna, Who is with the playuful Rukhmani, And who shines in yellow silks, And who has the scent of holy basil. Gopeenaam Kucha dwanda, Kunkumankitha vakshasam, Sri niketham , maheshvasam, Krishnam vande Jagat Gurum. I salute the world teacher Krishna, Who is coated with the saffron powder, From the two breasts of gopis, And who is the home of Lakshmi and In whom the great God lives. Sri Vathsankam mahoraskam, Vana maala virajitham, Sankha chakra dharam devam, Krishnam vande Jagat Gurum. I salute the world teacher Krishna, Who has Sri Vathsa on his chest, Who is deorated by forest garland, And is the God who holds conch and wheel.




Krishnashtakam mitham punyam , Prathar uthaya ya padteth, Kodi janma krutham papam, Sathyameva vinasyathi.


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If this blessed octet on Krishna, Is sung as soon as one wakes up in the morning, The sins done in billions of births, Will truely be destroyed. A different spelling scheme is adopted by this author for the transliteration. This author, Sriman P. R. Ramachander, has provided transliterations and beautiful simple translations such as this one for literally hundreds of such verses and many important Sanskrit scriptural documents.

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