satyameva jayate nānṛtaṁ, satyena panthā vitato devayānaḥ, yenākramantyṛṣayo hyāptakāmā, yatra tat satyasya paramaṁ nidhānam - Mundaka Upanishad 3.1.6

Truth alone triumphs; not falsehood. Through truth the divine path is spread out by which the sages whose desires have been completely fulfilled, reach where that supreme treasure of Truth resides.

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Recently I have got involved in natural farming, and am starting to know more about our traditional farming practices. In particular, our ancient wisdom that is encoded as Vrikshayurveda.

Imagine my surprise and disgust when I see that Biodynamic Farming, which is all the rage nowadays and is being touted as a miracle and a cure-all for the ills of chemical farming and modern lifestyle, is nothing but Vrikshayurveda in a very thinly disguised form. The worst thing is that Biodynamic Farming is being promoted as having come out of just one western (naturally, white) man's work. Viz., Rudolf Steiner. Somehow, magically, it all came out, fully formed, from his mind…and he decided to share it with others out of his compassion…that is what one would think if one read biographies written on him. We are told, "Biodynamic planting originated from a series of lectures by the German philosopher Rudolf Steiner…"

Long buried, intentionally, of course, is the fact that he had come to Chennai and lived with Theosophists (Annie Besant), which is when he learnt about Vrikshayurveda. How he couldn't comprehend it fully, with all its sophistication about nakshatras, etc., and took away a highly simplified (watered down, or dumbed down, if you will) version with emphasis only on the waxing and waning of the moon. He did not even understand our Panchaangam.

Everything in his so-called system of Biodynamic Farming, is directly lifted from Vrikshayurveda. E.g., cow's horn manure (his "preparation 500"), use of Panchagavya to increase soil fertility, Favorable days for ploughing and seeding, watching for Moon-Saturn opposition days, Node days, Pest control, etc., etc. Not to forget the Spirituality aspect of farming…wonder how he justified that part of his "teaching". It would have looked extremely out of place, having been yanked out of its original societal and cultural moorings. No doubt that is why his lectures are described as being "cryptic, without lots of detail" and so on. He seems to have simply told his listeners, "Just do as I say, and see that it works. Then you will be convinced."

For his series of Preparations numbered from 500 to 508, he substituted European herbs (Chamomile, Nettle, etc.,) for the original Indian herbs.

I could go on and on, but you get the point. The sad truth is that, today, our own people pay through their nose to attend "Seminars on Biodynamic Farming" conducted by Peter Proctor and others, where they are taught Rudolf Steiner's wonderful invention and go home marvelling at the wisdom of the white man, gushing how "lost" we would be if it were not for his teaching.

By the way, I am happy to see that Infinity Foundation has done work to highlight Vrikshayurveda



By - J Sreedhar

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