Saturday, November 15, 2008

O Moon! You enlighten us through the right path

Before the launch of an important mission in the past, the replica of the launch vehicle has been placed before the Krishna deity at Tirupati.. ISRO officials have been making a replica of every rocket they fly and placing it at the feet of Lord Balaji-Krishna at the Hindu holy city of Tirupati a day before every launch. Tirupati is close to the launch pad of the Chandrayaan-I at the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh, the launch site. There are Vedic astrologers among the astronomers in the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) too. They had declared that the day set for the country's first moon mission, Oct 22, was aupicious.

SRIHARIKOTA, India : Indian Space Research Organization-ISRO scientists visited the world's most popular temple and religious site to seek the blessings of Lord Krishna at his Tirupati temple before the launch. Afterwards some expressed relief that rain had held off until the rocket was in space. "The rain gods have been kind to us," Madhavan said.
"O Moon! We should be able to know you through our intellect. You
enlighten us through the right path." - Rig Veda
Inspired by this ancient sloka of the Rig Veda, the oldest Scripture on the Earth, the Indian Space Research Organisation embarked upon the Mission Moon.Chandra is the Sanskrit word for moon. The Vedic epics speak of flying vehicles which the gods used to traverse vast distances.
In Chandrayaan-1, the lunar craft launched using Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle. The lunar craft or Chandrayaan (Chandra or Moon in the ancient Vedic language Sanskrit and Yaan means craft) will orbit around the Moon 100 km from the lunar surface, taking pictures with a resolution as high as 20 km.
Chandrayaan-1 — which means "Moon Craft" in ancient Sanskrit — launched from the Sriharikota ( A town named after Krishna=Hari) space center in southern India early Wednesday morning in a two-year mission aimed at laying the groundwork for further Indian space expeditions.
Scientists, clapping and cheering, tracked the ascent on computer screens as they lost sight of the rocket in heavy clouds.
"This is a historic moment for India," Indian Space Research Organization chairman G. Madhavan Nair said.
India plans a Chandrayaan-2 mission in 2011, which will land a spacecraft on the moon and launch a rover. This could pave the way for an eventual manned Indian expedition to the moon.
Balaji darshan at Tirumala Tirupati is almost a tradition for scientists at the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and this time too, scientists have been seeking divine blessings from the Lord of Seven Hills for the successful launch of the country's maiden lunar odyssey, Chandrayaan-1.
A senior ISRO Official told Express that it is a tradition which many scientists at ISRO undertake before every important launch and this year is no different.''In the past, prior to important launches like the Geosynchronous Launch Vehicle (GSLV-F-04) and Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV C3), scientists sought blessings from the deity at Tirupati. This year too, during the project and in the run-up to the launch, many have visited Tirupati,'' said an ISRO Official.
Before the launch of an important mission in the past, the replica of the launch vehicle has been placed before the deity at Tirupati, which is a few kilometres from Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota — the launch pad of the Chandrayaan-I.
A recent study conducted by the Trinity College of the US with help from the Centre for Inquiry (CFI) India, revealed that 49 percent of scientists believe in prayers. It pointed out that a majority of scientists believe in the existence of God.
Note: Krishna does not always fulfil material desires and such ambitions yet the fact that His blessings were sought is always auspicious. It is also a sign that India's ancient Vedic civilization is vibrant and flourishing.

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