21st June-World Yoga Day

The logo of my alma-mater (VNIT Nagpur) is योग कर्मसु कौशलम्. Acharya Vinoba Bhave has explained its meaning in very simple words. Doing the same work more and more efficiently and skillfully is nothing else but Yoga.

21st June is World Yoga Day. The exact meaning of Yoga is to join two or more things together. Maharshi Patanjali initiated and developed the science of Yoga. This is the science to keep our body and mind healthy and energetic. It includes eight aspects-Yama, Niyam, Aasan, PraaNayaam , Pratyaahaar, DhaaraNa, Dhyaan and Samaadhee

In modern times Mahesh Yogi, Swami Shavanand, Paramhans Yoganand, B.S. Iyengar, Janardan Swami and especially Swami Ramadeo popularized the practice throughout the world and have millions of their followers. With the special efforts of our Hon’ble Prime Minister of India Sh. Narendra Modi, this day is observed as a World Yoga Day.

Ancient Indian Science and Technology (Shilpa shastra) has a different interpretation of the Word योग. Yoga means combination or joining. Shilpa Shastra includes ten branches, 32 techniques and 64 skills. The art of Joining is included in all ten branches and it is described briefly in this article.

Ancient Biological Sciences include Botany and Zoology.

  1. Botany –By mixing of pollens of two flowers, a hybrid variety of fruit tree is created. Drafting or budding is also a Yoga. Such skills are described by Sage Parashar in his book Krishi Parashar (कृषि पाराशर).
  2. Zoology –Cross breeding of two animals (Horse and Donkey) results into new animal Pony which is useful during wars. Sage Palakappy has described about this technique.
  3. Water Resources- Bhrugu Shilpa Shastra mentions a skill “Jala vayu agni Sanyog” or combination of water, air and heat (steam). So, the power of steam can be utilized more efficiently than water, air or heat. But the text is not available.
  4. Mining and Metallurgy – It includes many skills related to Yoga. Alchemy includes combination of herbs and mercury to transform cheap metals into silver or gold. Modern Scientists disbelieve this practice but modern Chemistry or Chemical science originated from this Alchemy.
  5. Modern Metallurgy mentions two methods for combination  – combination by force or by heating and melting. Brass, Gun metal, Bronze etc are the examples. Steel was produced by primitives by melting pig iron and mixing herbs or bird feathers. This practice is still followed. Separation is an opposite to Yoga.
  6. Surface Transportation (RathaShastra) – a heated iron ream is put on the wooden wheel of a cart. This example of Balasankar.
  7. Water Transportation (Nauka Shasatra) – To increase the speed of a boat sails are used to use wind energy. This art was known as Pat bandhan.
  8. Air transportation (Viman Shastra) – It contains an art “SwarNadilepan) or electro-plating. Construction of dry cell was first invented by Sage Agastya.
  9. Vastushastra   (Housing) – It includes many skills of combination.
    •  Mrudkarm – Preparation of pottery soil includes mixing of certain herbs and fibers with soil.
    •  Sudhakarm – Lime mortar – This includes slaked lime, molasses, brick powder and sand etc.
    •  Daru karm (Wood working) – It includes wood joints in pillar, beam truss etc.
    •  Rang karma(Painting) – It includes preparation of colors with different ingredients. This description is given in Vishnu Dharmottar PuraN.
  10. Prakaar Shastra (Forts and Castles) – It includes an art known as wepons and missiles- Explosives were prepared by mixing coal powder, silk cotton and sulphur. This desripition is given in Shukra Niti.
  11. Town planning (Nagar Rachana) – There is no art related to yoga.
  12. Machines (Yantra Shastra) – By definition a machine contains one to five essential components viz. Lever, wheel, gear, chain and screw. This combination is Yoga. More inform can be obtained from ancient books on Yantra Shastra.
By Dr.A.S.Nene
Board member, Civil Engg. Dept., JSDIVSR