Pandit Motilal Shastri Memorial Lecture on Kadambini

September 28, 2021

Pandit Madhusudan Ojha’s Kadambini illuminated the vedic science of forecasting rain, said Dr Devi Prasad Tripathi, Chancellor, Uttarakhand Sanskrit University, during his comprehensive presentation on the subject at Pandit Motilal Shastri Memorial Lecture 2021 organised by Shri Shankar Shikshayatan on September 28,2021.

Dr Tripathi, a well known expert on jyotish vidya, recalled the extraordinary work done by Ojhaji on rediscovering vedic terms, unraveling the meaning of many of the terms which were lost in time and creating an invigorating body of work on vedic science. His work on forecasting rain, Kadadmbini, was but one of the many volumes Ojhaji had written on various facets of nature and Creation.

Referring to Kadambini, he said, it gave a comprehensive account of forecasting rain in simple and lucid terms. How does clouds form, what happens throughout the year and what are the signs of good rain or deficit rain—these are some of the topics dealt within the book. It also explains various natural phenomena like earthquake and meteor shower. The book is divided into four chapters—garbhadhyaya (formation of clouds), dvadamasikadhyaya (monsoon development in a year),nimitadhyaya (science of
astrology) and shankuntatkaladhyaya.

Speaking about vrishti or rainfall, Dr Tripathi enunciated certain principles of the natural phenomenon. All living beings survive on anna or food, anna is born from parjanya or rain and parjanya is formed out of yajna. What is this yajna from all are satiated? What is the relationship between rain and yajna? How and where does apa or water form? What is the source of water? There are many such questions which evoke curiosity.The first chapter offers answers to them. For instance, yajna is the offering of soma in agni. The sun is agni and water is soma—the sun causes rain to happen when water is offered in its fire. This is yajna.

In the second chapter, Ojhaji has explained the effect of planetary movements on rain.
Giving a vivid account of the Indian science of meteorology, Dr Tripathi said there were two methods of forecasting rain given in various vedic and other texts. These are—instrumental measurement and mathematical measurement. Under the mathematical measurement method, five parameters are taken into account for making the forecast. These parameters are planets, movement of the sun, the moon, planetary movements and positions.

Introducing the programme, Prof. Santosh Kumar Shukla, convener of Shri Shnakar Shikshayatan and head of the department, Sanskrit and Ancient Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, said the annual lecture series began in 2008 when the institute founder, Pandit Rishi Kumar Mishra, decided to honour his guru, Pandit Motilal Shastri. The lecture is organised every year on September 28 and focuses on one of the works of Pandit Madhusudan Ojha or Shastriji. Dr Shukla gave a brief account of the scope and depth of works on vedic vijnana authored by Ojhaji, Shastriji and Mishraji.

Prof. Ramachandra Jha said Kadambini was an important work on the science of rain forecasting based on ancient Indian principles. The book presents a clear explanation of the causes of rain and how to make scientific forecast. Prof. Ramachandra Pandey pointed out the importance in rain in a country which is predominatly agrarian. He said it was an easy task to make rain forecasts. There are numerous aspects which need deep examination. Fire, air, sun and moon are causes of rain and these are explained with great clarity in Kadambini. The references given in Kadambini are drawn from veda samhitas and puranas. These are also found in popular literature which makes rain, its forecasting and its influence on agriculture a part of traditional knowledge.

The online programme was organised and managed by Dr Mani Shankar Dwivedi, Dr Lakshmi Kant Vimal and Dr Bishnu Shankar Mohapatra, research staff at Shri Shankar Shikshayatan.